Teenage climate worrier Greta Thunberg issued a string of fresh demands Thursday for world leaders to take emergency action on climate change, lamenting some had “given up” on the possibility of preparing a decent future for coming generations.
Key to her list of executive actions was an immediate end to all investments in fossil fuel in parallel with a shutting down of fossil fuel subsidies as well as making “ecocide an international crime at the International Criminal Court.”
In an interview with Reuters, the 17-year-old said governments must accept the need to transform the global economic system as a basic step in avoiding “a climate catastrophe.”
“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.
Her call to action marks a return to the global stage after she complained too many people were simply trying to bathe in her reflected achievements rather than working to the common environmental goals she keeps setting:
“Above all, we are demanding that we need to treat this crisis as a crisis, because if we don’t do that, then we won’t be able to do anything,” Thunberg said.
Thunberg joined several thousand people, including climate scientists, economists, actors, and activists in signing an open letter urging European leaders to start treating climate change like an “emergency,” Reuters reports.
The letter was made public hours before a European Council summit where countries in the 27-member E.U. will try to reach a deal on the bloc’s next budget and outline a path to economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.
Demands in the letter included an immediate halt to all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, in parallel with a rapid ending of fossil fuel subsidies.
It also called for binding annual “carbon budgets” to limit how much greenhouse gas countries can emit to maximize the chances of capping the rise in average global temperatures at 1.5C, a goal enshrined in the 2015 Paris climate accord.
“We understand and know very well that the world is complicated and that what we are asking for may not be easy. The changes necessary to safeguard humanity may seem very unrealistic,” the letter said.
“But it is much more unrealistic to believe that our society would be able to survive the global heating we’re heading for, as well as other disastrous ecological consequences of today’s business as usual.”
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