Greta Thunberg says school strikes have achieved nothing

(The Guardian, 6 Dec 2019) Activist says 4% greenhouse gas emissions rise since 2015 shows action is insufficient.

The global wave of school strikes for the climate over the past year has “achieved nothing” because greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, Greta Thunberg has told activists at UN climate talks in Madrid.

Thousands of young people were expected to gather at the UN climate conference and in the streets of the Spanish capital on Friday to protest against the lack of progress in tackling the climate emergency, as officials from more than 190 countries wrangled over the niceties of wording in documents related to the Paris accord.

In the four years since the landmark agreement was signed, greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 4% and the talks this year are not expected to produce new commitments on carbon from the world’s biggest emitters.

Thunberg, whose solo protest in Sweden in 2018 has since snowballed into a global movement, spoke at a press conference before a march through the centre of Madrid. She said that although schoolchildren had been striking around the world, this “has not translated into action” from governments.

“I’m just an activist and we need more activists,” she said. “Some people are afraid to change – they try so desperately to silence us.”

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The Guardian, 6 Dec 2019: Greta Thunberg says school strikes have achieved nothing