Greta Thunberg slams ‘angry teenager’ label on GMB
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Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has announced on social media she does not plan to attend the UN climate conference due to be held in Glasgow this November. The 18-year-old is concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on attendance at COP26. She believes the summit should be postponed until global vaccination rates have risen.
Ms Thunberg’s decision is likely to be a significant blow for the UK Government.
As many already accuse the 18-year-old of trying to boycott the event, unearthed reports shed light on what happened when she last addressed political and business leaders in Brussels.
In 2019, Ms Thunberg led a march of thousands of Belgian students who had skipped class for the seventh Thursday in a row to draw attention to fighting climate change.
Citing the fall in greenhouse gas emissions that was needed by 2020, she said at the time: “There is simply not enough time to wait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge.”
The EU wanted to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.
She added: “Some people say that is good, that is ambitious; but this new target is still not enough to keep global warming below 1.5C.
“This target is not sufficient to protect the future for children growing up today. If the EU is to make its fair contribution to stay within the carbon budget for the 2C limit then it needs a minimum of 80 percent reduction by 2030, and that includes aviation and shipping.”
Jean-Claude Juncker, the then-European Commission President, followed her address with a sprawling speech across a variety of green topics including EU climate policy, his love of Europe’s varied landscapes and opposition to the harmonisation of toilet flushes.
He also used the Swedish campaigner’s criticism as an excuse to lash out at former US President Donald Trump for suggesting climate change was “invented” and “ideological”.
He said: “Mr Trump and his friends believe that climate change is something that has just been invented and it’s an ideological concept, but … something dangerous is already under way.”
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In 2009, Mr Trump actually signed a full-page advert in the New York Times, along with dozens of other business leaders, expressing support for legislation combating climate change.
The statement said: “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.”
However, in the years that followed, the former US President took an opposite approach on Twitter, with more than 120 posts questioning or making light of climate change.
In 2012, he famously said climate change was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.
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He later claimed it was a joke.
He regularly repeated claims that scientists had rebranded global warming as climate change because “the name global warming wasn’t working”.
And he also posted dozens of tweets suggesting that cold weather disproves climate change – despite the World Meteorological Organisation saying that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years.
He has clashed with Ms Thunberg on a number of occasions.
Hours after the climate activist delivered an impassioned speech to the United Nations Climate Action Summit calling out world leaders for not responding to the climate crisis with more urgency, Mr Trump mocked her.
He shared a video of Ms Thunberg’s speech on Twitter, and wrote, sarcastically: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.
“So nice to see!”
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