Environmental activist Greta Thunberg called world leaders ‘hypocrites’ for the way they are handling the climate crisis.
Thunberg, who turns 18 in January next year, has long been campaigning for change, traveling the world, and encouraging people to take to the streets in an effort to raise awareness for the urgent action needed to discuss climate change, but her mission is far from over.
The activist argued that world leaders were happy to set environmental targets for the future but are unwilling to take immediate action.
According to The Guardian, Thunberg recalled Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) asking for her support in September when the EU was deciding its target for emissions cuts by 2030, but she pointed out that this action won’t be likely to impact them.
“When it’s about something that is in 10 years’ time, they are more than happy to vote for it because that doesn’t really impact them,” she said. “But when it’s something that actually has an effect, right here right now, they don’t want to touch it. It really shows the hypocrisy.”
After the coronavirus outbreak in March, leaders across the world recognized that fast action was needed and made efforts to curb the spread of the lethal virus. Thunberg says that until we start treating the climate crisis in the same way as Covid-19, society will be unable to stop global warming.
If we do treat the climate crisis ‘as a crisis’, it could ‘change everything overnight’, she believes.
“As long as we don’t treat the climate crisis like a crisis, we can have as many conferences as we want, but it will just be negotiations, empty words, loopholes, and greenwash,” Thunberg said.
Thunberg further referred to ‘loopholes’ in pledges by nations including the UK, China, and Japan to reach net-zero by 2050 or 2060. She argued that these promises ‘mean something symbolically’, but said that far into the future the targets ‘won’t mean anything because our carbon budgets will be long gone.’