Greta Thunberg at the Wef in Davos: “Here those who destroy the planet, it is absurd to listen to them”

Greta Thunberg at the Wef in Davos: “Here those who destroy the planet, it is absurd to listen to them”

Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate, Luisa Neubauer And Helena Gualingaqueen of the green wave of Fridays For Future, after having protested (complete with a police detention) for the expansion of the coal mine in Germany they arrived today at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to bring very clear messages. The first is the request, through a petition signed by almost 1 million people (there are currently 915 thousand), for the immediate halt to new plants or the extraction of oil, gas and coal: the letter, signed by the four activists, was delivered symbolically to some CEOs of the oil and gas multinationals present at the Forum.

The protest

Almost 700,000 signatures on Greta Thunberg’s appeal against fossil fuels

by Giacomo Talignani

The second message, as Greta recalled, is part of a narrative that seeks to downsize the Davos Forum itself, which this year promised to put the climate issue at the centre: here – said the twenty-year-old Swede – “the people who the more they are fueling the destruction of the planet”, it is therefore “absurd” to listen to them. “We seem to be listening to them rather than the people who are actually affected by the climate crisis, the people who live on the front lines, and that tells us how absurd the situation is.” The third, implicit message is to reiterate how much science needs to be listened to, science that today repeats to us how it is necessary to abandon the use of fossil fuels that cause emissions and accelerate on renewable energies.


The Battle of Lützerath Against Coal. Greta Thunberg with activists

by Giacomo Talignani

To develop this discourse, the four activists held, in an event promoted in Davos, a meeting with the executive director of the IEA, the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, who on several occasions appeared to share the reasoning of the young people. Greta herself has called on Birol to stop the global energy industry and the financiers who back it from fueling carbon investments. “As long as they can get away with it they will keep investing in fossil fuels, they will keep throwing people under the bus,” Thunberg warned.

Birol admitted there is no reason to justify investing in new oil fields because of the energy crisis, saying that by the time they are operational, the climate crisis will have worsened. However, the head of the IEA insisted that since it is a transition this must currently include a mix of interested parties (and therefore also the administrators of the oil and gas), especially in the face of the global crisis of energy security caused by the war in Ukraine. Moreover. added Birol, to bring a breath of “slight optimism” in the fight against the climate crisis, come last year’s data, when “the amount of renewable energies placed on the market was record”.

Confirming what was declared by the activists – who were returning from Lutzerath where almost 35,000 young people and adults gathered to demonstrate against the mine – Birol also admitted that the energy transition is not happening quickly and that developing countries risk being left behind.

Greta Thunberg and the demonstrators taken away to Luetzerath: the video of tensions

Precisely the question of the slowness of the transition and the speed, on the contrary, with which the gap between the countries of the world is widening is the engine of a new thrust in the climate battle. It is no coincidence that alongside Greta were Vanessa Nakate – who represents Africa and recalled how the “loss and damage” funds are still insufficient – or Helena Gualinga from Ecuador, the voice of South America. “The roots of the crisis are the mentality that some people are worse than others – said Greta – it seems that we are sacrificing the people of some countries for this and all this gives the Western world an even greater responsibility, since fairness must be at the heart of climate action”. An action that is becoming radicalized, from demonstrative and provocative acts such as the launch of Latest Generation paint to large demonstrations to block, even physically, the extraction of fossil fuels.

The controversy

The head of an oil multinational will preside over Cop28. The anger of environmentalists

by Giacomo Talignani

Topics that will be discussed at the end of the year Cop28, the Conference of the parties on climate to be held in Dubai and which saw the recent appointment, as president, of Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of an oil multinational. A choice that the activists have defined as “ridiculous”. At the end of the meeting, both the four activists and Fatih Birol went so far as to reiterate – in the umpteenth crucial year in the attempt to keep temperatures below +1.5 degrees – that among the many words missing is above all “political will”. There is capital to focus on renewables, there are also possible investments but, as the head of the International Energy Agency has made clear, what continues to fail is the desire of governments to really tackle the climate crisis.

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