Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said that the world needs an economic overhaul to have a chance of beating climate change and that countries should be prepared to tear up old deals and contracts to meet green targets.
The 17-year-old spoke to Reuters TV after she and other activists sent an open letter to European leaders urging them to take emergency action and saying people in power had practically “given up” on searching for a real solution.
“We need to see it as, above all, an existential crisis. And as long as it’s not being treated as a crisis, we can have as many of these climate change negotiations and talks, conferences as possible. It won’t change a thing,” Thunberg said, speaking via video from her home in Stockholm.
Demands in the letter, released before the European Council summit, included an immediate halt to all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, in parallel with a rapid ending of fossil fuel subsidies.
The letter also called for binding annual “carbon budgets” to limit how much greenhouse gas countries can emit to maximise the chances of capping the rise in average global temperatures at 1.5C, a goal enshrined in the 2015 Paris climate accord.
This week (21st July 2020), it has been announced that Greta Thunberg has received an award for €1 million from the Gulbenkian Rights award. She has pledged that this money will be given to climate change activist groups, working to protect the environment and halt climate change.