Speaking at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, Thunberg ridiculed the rhetoric of world leaders, giving a special mention to Boris Johnson, among others.
“Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah,” she said. “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: words. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises. Of course we need constructive dialogue, but they have now had 30 years of blah, blah blah. And where has this led us?”
While carbon emissions must be halved by 2030 to have a chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, instead they are on course to rise by 16 per cent. “Just look at the numbers. Emissions are still rising. The science doesn’t lie,” Thunberg said.
In his recent speech to the UN, Johnson said it was time for humanity to “grow up”. But it is the young generation who are most effectively scolding their parents for repeatedly pleading to be allowed to carry on playing with fossil fuels for “just five minutes more”.
As young people follow the science, many politicians pay little more than lip service to it. We all need to realise that time is finally up and the Cop26 summit has to be the moment when we finally stop trying to childishly ignore the approach of reality.