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Greta Thunberg tells Davos: 'Nothing has been done' on climate since she began protesting

Max Zahn

Essentially no progress has been made on curbing global carbon emissions since Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg rose to prominence with protests in 2018, she said on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, just hours before President Donald Trump was set to address the conference.

Thunberg, 17, told Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal climate is now a “hot topic because of young people pushing” but “nothing has been done [because] global emissions of carbon have not been reduced.”

“That is of course what we’re trying to achieve,” Thunberg said. “Without treating this as a real crisis, we can’t solve it.”

She called on the global community to dramatically reduce carbon emissions over the next decade, but added that such an effort must include an awareness of “equity,” which addresses the disproportionate carbon emissions released in affluent countries. 

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 17, arrives for a panel on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Brian Sozzi)

“Richer countries need to get down to zero degrees much faster,” Thunberg said. 

The panel, entitled “Forging a Sustainable Path towards a Common Future,” included three other teenage climate activists from Puerto Rico, Zambia, and Canada. “We’re tired of empty promises,” said Salvador Gómez-Colón, a 16-year-old activist who has focused on rebuilding his home territory of Puerto Rico “We get stuck in talk.” 

Before the conference, Thunberg and other young activists called on this year’s World Economic Forum participants — including all private and public sector institutions — to divest from fossil fuels.

Asked about whether the voices of young people are being heard, Thunberg acknowledged her significant platform, which includes four million Twitter followers

“I’m not the person who can complain about not being heard,” she said. “I’m being heard all the time.”

“But in general the science and voice of young people is not in the center of the conversation and it needs to be,” she added.

Max Zahn is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Find him on twitter @MaxZahn_.

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