Greta Thunberg has criticised world leaders at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, saying their promises over the years to address climate change haven’t amounted to necessary action.
Thunberg referenced specific comments world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have made in recent times, rejecting their words as nothing more than “blah, blah, blah”.
“Leaders have had 30 years of ‘blah blah blah’ and where has that led us? Over 50 per cent of all our CO2 emissions have occurred since 1990, and a third since 2005,” she said.
“Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” she said her speech at the summit on Tuesday.
“This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises.”’
Thunberg also said she felt like youth climate activists like herself were being chosen to speak at international meetings because it gives the illusion that the leaders are listening.
“So-called leaders have cherry picked young people to meetings like this to pretend they are listening to us, but they are not listening,” Thunberg said.
“Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises.”
“We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah blah blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action”— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 28, 2021
My speech at #Youth4Climate #PreCOP26 in Milan. pic.twitter.com/BA62GpST2O
Thunberg said “Of course, we need constructive dialogue, but they’ve now had thirty years of blah, blah, blah and where has that led us?”
“2021 is currently projected to experience the second highest emission rise ever. Only about 2 per cent of government’s recovery spendings have been allocated to clean energy measures. And according to a new report by the UN, global emissions are expected to rise by 16 per cent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
“Our leaders’ intentional lack of action is a betrayal towards all present and future generations. The people in power cannot claim that they are trying because they are clearly not. If this is what they consider to be climate action, then we don’t want it.”
Thunberg was speaking at the Youth4Climate summit, days before world ministers are expected to convene in Milan for a final meeting before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.