Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed 400 young people at a climate conference in Milan on Tuesday. She denounced the ‘thirty years blabla’ by world leaders on climate and accused them of ‘drowning the hopes of young people in their empty promises’.
The UN, Italy and the UK Presidency of COP26 have invited 400 young people aged 15 to 29 from nearly 200 countries to prepare a joint statement for three days in Milan. It will be presented to ministers at a meeting later this week.
“They invite specially selected young people to these kinds of meetings and claim that they listen to us, but they don’t. They don’t listen to us, they never did,” Thunberg told the event organizers from the podium.
“But we can change things,” she pleaded. “We can no longer let those in power decide what is politically possible or not, we can no longer let those in power decide what hope is. Hope is not blabla, hope is telling the truth, hope is acting, hope always comes from people.’
As the number of climate disasters increases, countries’ commitments are still not sufficient to meet the Paris climate agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era, so possibly below 1.5 degrees.
According to the latest UN assessment, published in mid-September, the world is heading for a ‘catastrophic’ warming of 2.7 degrees.