Thunberg questions Italy climate talks By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, speaks to Reuters at the Global Climate Strike, a movement called Fridays for Future, Berlin, Germany on September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Christian Mang
By Stephen Jewkes and Giulio Piovaccari
MILAN (Reuters) -Greta Thunberg and fellow youth campaigners struck a sceptical tone for this week’s climate talks in Italy, saying much has been promised but little done to tackle global warming in almost three decades since the landmark Earth Summit.
After a U.N. August report warned that the climate situation is dangerously in danger of spiraling out of control and the world facing further disruptions, fears grew.
Thunberg stated that it had been 30 years since the last Youth4Climate meeting.
Some 400 young activists from more than 190 nations have arrived in Milan to discuss potential solutions with policymakers. This is the second week of thousands of young activists arriving in Milan.
Thunberg explained that so-called leaders deliberately selected young activists to attend meetings like these to appear to be listening, but in reality they don’t listen.
“There’s no planet B… It is possible, and it is necessary to change. But we cannot continue doing the same thing as today.
These youth activists are challenging the UN to find solutions to climate change. They were the ones who fought for it to be at the forefront of global attention years ago, when leaders from the 1992 Rio Summit, Brazil, pledged to do so.
The proposals of the youth activists will be reviewed by the climate and energy ministers who will meet at the same location for the pre-COP26 meeting. Some will also make it to the Glasgow summit.
As rising world energy prices fuel concerns about climate reform, the meetings take place at a time when many people are afraid.
The U.N. COP26 Conference aims to get more ambitious climate action by the almost 200 countries that have signed the 2015 Paris Agreement. These nations agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.
Rose Kobusinge (a Ugandan youth delegate) stated that “young people must get involved in the actual negotiation.” “We want 1.5 (degrees) and we won’t go beyond that.”
At their pre-COP26 summit, which starts on Thursday, some 50 climate ministers will tackle hurdles, including differing views on the pace of transition and who pays for it.
Although the U.S. and China’s new energy and financing pledges have made negotiators feel more positive, many G20 countries including India and China are still to update their short-term climate action plans.
Alok Sharma (Britain’s COP26 president) said Tuesday that “now is the right time for leaders from the largest economies and biggest greenhouse gas emitters [to make bolder] commitments.”
Climate activists want policymakers to match their rhetoric with actions and to raise the billions needed to transition the world from fossil fuels to clean energy in a year marked by record heatwaves as well as floods and fires.
Oscar Soria from the U.S.-based advocacy network Avaaz stated, “Money speaks. And if rich countries don’t restructure loans for poor nations, and commit $500 million for climate action starting 2020-2024,” Oscar Soria said.
Wealthy nations who pledged a decade ago to mobilize $100 billion a year to help vulnerable countries adapt and transition to cleaner energy are still short of their 2020 goal.
Vanessa Nakata from Uganda said that the promised $100 billion per year was still not available.