Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, issued a new statement on Thursday accusing political and economic figures of “role-playing” in the climate crisis and accused them of utilising it as a profit or business opportunity.
“Eventually the public pressure was too much. So you started to act. But acting as in role-playing. Playing politics, playing with words, playing with our future” Thunberg said.
She highlighted the response of those of influence and in authority to the upsurge of climate activism while speaking via video link at the Austrian World Summit on Climate Policy, which was hosted by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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The 18-yr-old activist took to Twitter to share her speech at the summit while writing, “Let’s be clear – what you are doing is not about climate action or responding to an emergency. It never was. This is communication tactics disguised as politics.”
In the midst of more and more extreme weather events blazing all around us, the activist who rose to recognition by launching a series of school strikes for the climate that spurred a global movement slammed wealthy nations’ climate commitments as “vastly insufficient.”
Thunberg believes that big economies’ net-zero emissions targets could be a decent start if they were not plagued with gaps and loopholes, such as excluding emissions from imported goods, worldwide aviation, and shipping, adding that they also rely on baseline manipulation and the employment of unproven technologies.
“The climate crisis is today — at best — being treated only as a business opportunity to create green new jobs, new green businesses, and technologies,” she said.
The summit, which Schwarzenegger initiated five years ago, aims to identify “real solutions and initiatives from global decision-makers” in response to the climate change crisis. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who is overseeing the Commission’s work on the European Green Deal, and high-ranking executives from multinational companies Ford and Apple are among those attending.