Greta Thunberg: "We want politicians to listen to the scientists".

01 03 2019 | 08:09

Greta Thunberg: "We want politicians to listen to the scientists"

School kids are on climate strike “because we have done our homework” and listened to science, 16-year-old green activist Greta Thunberg told EU policymakers in Brussels today (21 February). “Just unite behind the science, that is our demand,” she said.

Thunberg was in Brussels to take part in one of the climate school strikes that have taken place every week in Belgium since 2 December.

Before joining the march, the Swedish activist was invited to make a speech in front of the Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an EU consultative body representing civil society organisations.

And as usual, she didn’t mince her words.

“We know that most politicians don’t want to talk to us,” Thunberg said from the outset.

“Good. We don’t want to talk to them either,” she told a roomful of EU policymakers, which also included Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission.

“We want them to talk to the scientists instead. Listen to them. Because we are just repeating what they are saying and have been saying for decades,” she continued.

“We want you to follow the Paris Agreement and the IPCC reports. We don’t have any other demands. Just unite behind the science – that is our demand.”

EU urged to cut emissions 80% by 2030

But for those who do their homework and listen to science, Thunberg pointed to a damning fact.

“According to the IPCC report, we are about 11 years away from being in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control,” she said. “To avoid that, unprecedented changes have to take place within this coming decade.”

For the EU, that means drastically increasing its emissions reduction target, beyond the 40% reduction agreed for 2030, and well above the 45% currently under consideration.

“If the EU is to make its fair contribution to stay within the carbon budget for the 2°C limit, then it needs a minimum of 80% reduction by 2030. And that includes aviation and shipping. So about twice as much as the current proposal,” she said.

But getting there will require a radical overhaul of the political system currently based on political parties who compete against each another to win the next election, she said.

“That must come to an end. We must stop competing with each other. We need to cooperate, and work together to share the resources of the planet in a fair way.”

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Greta Thunberg: "We want politicians to listen to the scientists"

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