Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Greta Thunberg, who ignited global "school strikes for climate," delivers a video address urging those in positions of power to take bold climate action.

Greta Thunberg, who ignited global "school strikes for climate," delivers a video address urging those in positions of power to take bold climate action. (Photo: Twitter/GretaThunberg)

Greta Thunberg's Demand to Davos Elite: Act Urgently on Climate for 'Sake of This Beautiful Living Planet"

"Some people say that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is just another convenient lie."

Andrea Germanos

Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg threw down the gauntlet to the global elite gathered in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week, urging them to work towards meaningful climate action in order to "safeguard the future living conditions for humankind."

"Some people say that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is just another convenient lie," the Swedish teen says in a video posted to Twitter. The video was also posted on the WEF Facebook page and was intended to be shown to the attendees inside.

In fact, there is blame to be assigned, she says, namely to "some companies and decision makers" who have "known exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing."

She calls on those powerful interests to set aside their drive for massive economic profits and instead "safeguard the future living conditions for humankind" by committing to "real and bold climate action."

She expresses skepticism that that will happen, but said she hopes she's proven wrong "for the sake of your children, for the sake of your grandchildren, for the sake of life and this beautiful living planet." Doing so would allow them to "stand on the right side of history," she adds.

Thunberg posted the video a day ahead of her arrival—by train—in Davos, where she'll take part in a panel discussion. Meanwhile, her joint op-ed with former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres declared it "outrageous" that the climate crisis is not taking center stage at the WEF gathering.

Published Wednesday at the Washington Post, the pair, "united by the same concern for our planet," argue that it "should be the number one priority."

There is plenty to lament—rising CO2 emissions, new coal burning power plants, and deadly air pollution. We are "quickly approaching tipping points of no return," they write. At the same time, they believe "these are inspirational times for transformational change," noting the historic Paris climate accord and global "school strike for climate," which Thunberg catalyzed. Students around the world taking a stand for urgent climate action, they write, have declared that "they are unstoppable and that another world is possible."

But to even begin taking a crack at the urgent crisis, they lay out a three-step "find and replace" exercise for Davos attendees:

Find coal, and replace it with renewable energy supported by storage.

Find internal combustion engines, and replace them with zero-emissions mobility.

Find crop burning (when farmers burn the stubble left over from the harvest to clear the ground quickly for new planting) and replace it with “no till” and “low till” technologies that enrich the soil instead of burning its nutrients.

"We are going to do everything we can to put an end to dirty fuels and dirty air so we can improve the prospects of people everywhere," they conclude.

Though she will still be in Switzerland on Friday, Thunberg has no plans to put a pause on her Friday strikes:

 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Sickening Betrayal': Panel Finds 83 Cases of Alleged Abuse During WHO's Ebola Work in Congo

"This is the biggest finding of sexual abuse perpetrated during a single U.N. initiative in one area or one country during the time-bound period of a U.N. response effort," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


Activists Confront Pelosi at Fundraiser, Demanding She 'Hold the Line' on $3.5 Trillion Package

"Backtracking on this reconciliation bill means people will continue to die at the hands of the climate crisis," said one Sunrise Movement activist.

Brett Wilkins ·


Frustrated Tribal Leaders Urge Biden to Immediately Restore Bears Ears Monument

"We have tried to be patient and respectful as we await your decision on restoration. However, the longer action is not taken, real harm, much permanent, is occurring on this sacred landscape."

Brett Wilkins ·


Senate Urged to 'Finish the Job' After House Votes to End Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

"For 35 years, the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, based on neither evidence nor science, has resulted in higher sentences that are disproportionately borne by Black families and communities," said an ACLU attorney.

Julia Conley ·


Sanders Demands House Dems Vote Down Bipartisan Bill if Reconciliation Package Not Secured

"Physical infrastructure is important," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, "but the needs of working families and combating climate change is more important."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo