Sixteen year old climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, moved the world. Her recent speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 has taken the internet by storm.
Greta’s “How dare you” speech at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York re-raised several frightening existing questions. Making some bold statements Greta condemned the world leaders for failing to take proper measures to fight the climate change. She also blamed the past generations for not taking the climate change seriously and accused them of stealing her dreams and her childhood. She described the impact of climate change as beginning of mass extinction.
Since August 2018, Greta Thunberg along with other students has been protesting in front of the Swedish parliament against the climate change.
Greta’s strike is an instrument to raise awareness of global warming. She says that there is enough science and technology available, which needs to be implemented and acted upon to fight the climate change. In one of her speeches she mentions with today’s emissions levels, our remaining CO2 budget will be gone in less than 8.5 years.
At a tender age, Greta Thunberg has already made 12 moving speeches including at UN climate Action summit 2019, TedX, COP24 summit, EU leaders, US congress on climate change among others. She has also received criticism from many high profiles including US president Donald Trump. After the New York speech, Trump tweeted “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” Greta soon changed her twitter bio to be the same.
Greta Thunberg was invited for a speech at the New York, UN climate action summit but she denied to fly from an airplane and instead took a solar boat fitted with turbines to reach the destination. Her concern towards the green house gases emission has also encouraged her family to adopt a carbon neutral lifestyle. Her mother, an opera singer left her international career to cut down the carbon emission which otherwise might have generated from the frequent airplane travel. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, IPCC estimates that the warming effect of aircraft emissions is about 1.9 times that of carbon dioxide alone, due to the other gases produced by planes.
Greta Thunberg has been nominated for the noble peace prize and her win might make her the youngest person to have the accolade. Presently, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai holds the record for being the youngest person to have the noble prize. Malala won the nobel peace prize in 2014 at the age of 17. The same year Kailash Satyarthi, from India also bagged the prize. The winner of the Nobel Prize will be announced on October 11th.
Greta’s plea from the developed countries like Sweden is to follow the Paris agreement so that developing countries like India, Nigeria etc. could utilise the carbon budget without affecting the global climate. 185 of the 197 parties have ratified the Convention. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, thirty days after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions had deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary. The Paris agreement aims to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.