Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg accused attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos of “fueling the destruction of the planet” when she arrived at the event in the Swiss Alps.
Along with other climate activists, Greta returns to Davos to push her battle against fossil fuels forward at the annual forum during a panel discussion on how the world can rapidly accelerate the transition to clean energy.
This comes shortly after she was released from detention following her arrest while protesting the expansion of a coal mine in Germany.
Thunberg, famous for her blunt and direct approach, has
“We’re in Davos right now, where (there are) basically the people who are mostly fueling the destruction of the planet,” he said, adding: “The people who are at the very center of the climate crisis, the people who are investing on fossil fuels etc., and yet somehow these are the people we seem to trust to solve our problems.’
He also insisted that we should listen to those truly affected by the climate crisis, those on the front lines.
The 20-year-old Swede caused a sensation when she attended the forum as a teenager in January 2020, warning that “our house is still on fire” and complaining that her demands had been “totally ignored”.
Then-US President Donald Trump used his speech at the same forum to criticize the “perennial prophets of doom” as Thunberg looked on from the audience.
This week, she and fellow activists Helena Gualinga from Ecuador, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda and Luisa Neubauer from Germany launched an online petition demanding that energy companies halt any new oil, gas or coal extraction projects, or confront possible legal actions. More than 870,000 people had signed the petition as of Wednesday night.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden speaking with (L-R) Fatih Birol, director of the International Energy Agency, and climate activists Luise Neubauer from Germany, Helena Gualinga from Ecuador, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda
The four activists will be among panelists discussing with Birol on Thursday calls to end new investment in fossil fuels and what must be done to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, organizers said.
The IEA, which advises governments, said in an October report that the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was sparking changes that could speed up the transition to a “more sustainable and secure energy system.”
Thunberg was among a group of people dragged away by police on Tuesday during a protest near the German village of Luetzerath, which is being razed to make way for a coal mine expansion. They were not formally arrested.
Thunberg arrived in Davos shortly after being released by German police after protesting the expansion of a coal mine in Germany.
His actions were praised at Davos by former US Vice President Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change.
“I agree with your efforts to stop that coal mine,” Gore said at a panel discussion on global warming, adding that young people around the world are despairing of leaders’ efforts to address the climate crisis. “We are not winning” the fight against global warming, he added.
Climate change is a major topic at the World Economic Forum, where companies and governments have come under pressure to do more to ensure the world meets the increasingly elusive target of limiting warming to 1.5°C.