Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is pictured during a "Fridays for Future" protest in front of the Swedish Parliament Riksdagen in Stockholm on October 9, 2020.

(Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

Forget 2030 or 2040, Says Greta Thunberg, World Must 'Reduce Our Emissions Right Now'

The world needs "to stop focusing on dates and numbers" and recognize that taking immediate action is what must be done, says the 18-year-old Swedish climate leader.

Global climate leader Greta Thunberg in a new interview published Wednesday expressed frustration with inadequate future climate targets by world governments that fail to address the urgency of the climate crisis.

"We need to stop focusing on dates and numbers and actually accept and acknowledge the fact that we need to reduce our emissions right now," Thunberg told the Financial Times. "We can talk about 2030 or 2040 as much as we want. But it is what we are doing now that really matters."

Though now a legal, voting-age adult in Sweden, Thunberg toldFT that making moral arguments still remains one of the most potent tools of the global movement.

"People say that we shouldn't be using morals, or like, shaming people, or using guilt or whatever," she explained. "But since we don't have any globally binding agreements, that's all we have . . . It's the only resource we have available at hand."

Echoing Thunberg's concerns, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Bitrol, warned Wednesday that humanity is headed in the opposite direction of a green recovery, as global efforts to curb emissions continue to fail.

"We have seen global emissions higher in December 2020 than in December 2019. As long as countries do not put the right energy policies in place, the economic rebound will see emissions significantly increase in 2021. We will make the job of reaching net zero harder," Bitrol said.

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