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Thunberg: Our voices being heard but not translating into action

  • Published at 12:25 am December 7th, 2019
2019-12-06T164852Z_568204520_RC2SPD9HEIWW_RTRMADP_3_CLIMATE-CHANGE-ACCORD-STRIKE
Protesters in front of the logo of the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 decorated with plants at the 'IFEMA - Feria de Madrid' exhibition centre in Madrid on Friday, December 6, 2019 AFP

Thunberg, who sparked a global youth-led protest movement after striking outside the Swedish parliament last year, said that asking children to skip school to protest inaction by governments on climate change was 'not a sustainable solution'

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said yesterday the voices of climate strikers are being heard but politicians are still not taking action, reports Reuters.

"We are getting bigger and bigger and our voices are being heard more and more, but of course that does not translate into political action," Thunberg told a panel in Madrid, where a UN climate summit is taking place.

Thunberg, who sparked a global youth-led protest movement after striking outside the Swedish parliament last year, said that asking children to skip school to protest inaction by governments on climate change was "not a sustainable solution."

"We don’t want to continue. We would love some action from people in power," she said. "People are suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency today and we cannot wait any longer."

Thunberg said she hoped the two-week annual round of climate negotiations, which opened in Madrid on Monday, would lead to "concrete action" and that world leaders would grasp the urgency of the climate crisis.

"Of course there is no victory, because the only thing we want to see is real action," Thunberg said. "So we have achieved a lot, but if you look at it from a certain point of view we have achieved nothing."

Activists rally

Thousands of activists from around the globe was scheduled to simultaneously hit the streets of Madrid and Santiago yesterday to demand urgent action on the climate crisis from world leaders attending the COP25 summit, reports AFP.

The main march will take place in Madrid on the sidelines of the UN climate conference, with a simultaneous rally in the Chilean capital, which had been due to host the 12-day gathering but was forced to pull out due to deadly anti-government protests.

Teen eco-warrior Greta Thunberg – who refuses to fly because of the carbon emissions involved – was also expected to join the rally after making a nearly three-week journey across the Atlantic by catamaran.

She made a appearance at the climate conference after she arrived in Madrid on Friday morning following a 10-hour overnight train trip from Lisbon, joining dozens of other youths taking part in a sit-in.

"Power to the people! 'Cause the people's got the power!" they chanted.

The COP25 summit opened on Monday with a stark warning from the UN about the "utterly inadequate" efforts of the world's major economies to curb carbon pollution, with protesters due to deliver their own message when the march begins at 1700 GMT.

Under the slogan "The world has woken up to the climate emergency," tens of thousands of activists are expected to join the five-kilometre (three-mile) march from Madrid's Atocha train station which will feature a significant number of Chilean groups.

Thunberg, who has become famous for galvanizing a generation of youngsters to fight for the environment, had been en route to Chile when the venue was changed, forcing her to hitch a ride back to Europe.

Oscar-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem, a vocal environmental activist, will also be at the protest, which will feature speeches, music and cultural performances.

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said on the eve of the rally that he supported "young people's protests at government's inaction over the climate crisis."

"Taking care of our planet, is a matter of looking after our own home," he added in a tweet.