Stockholm (dpa) – Exactly three years after her first climate strike in front of parliament in Stockholm, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg took a sobering look at international climate protection efforts to date. “We are still ignoring the climate crisis,” Thunberg told the German news agency on Friday.
Political decision-makers still don’t treat climate change as a crisis, lamented the now 18-year-old, who met German Fridays for Future activist Luisa Neubauer in the Swedish capital on the anniversary of the climate strike.
Shortly before that, Thunberg had attended a press conference of the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, where the UN agency presented an up-to-date report on the impact of global warming on millions of children worldwide.
Thunberg has been taking to the streets for three years
Exactly three years ago, on August 20, 2018, Thunberg took to the streets for the first time to protest for greater global climate protection. The climate protection organization Fridays for Future (FFF), which is now represented worldwide, has emerged from the school strikes for the climate that it initiated.
Neubauer and Thunberg said they met in 2018 at the UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland.
Together with other FFF activists, the group set an example Friday morning for greater global climate protection and for a political change of course. Due to strict corona requirements, the number of participants was limited to 30 according to the organization.
German activist Neubauer made a belligerent statement at noon: “Great political changes will only come if people come under pressure in large numbers and demand climate justice,” Neubauer of the German news agency said. That is also her call for the upcoming federal elections on September 26.
According to UNICEF. millions of children are at risk
According to the latest UNICEF report, increasing global warming and its consequences also threaten the fate of millions of children. Nearly every second child worldwide is “extremely vulnerable” to the effects of climate change, according to UNICEF estimates. About a billion of the 2.2 billion girls and boys are affected, according to a climate risk index for children first published Friday by the United Nations Children’s Fund. For example, climate and environmental hazards mentioned in the report include high levels of air pollution, water scarcity and disease.
Children are most affected in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Germany ranks 142nd out of 163 in the index of the most affected countries.
Thunberg described the finding in an interview with the German news agency as a “disgrace”. The international community left “the children to fend for themselves,” said the activist. The outage applies equally to all countries, including Germany and its home country Sweden.
She has “little expectations” ahead of the upcoming World Climate Conference in Glasgow in November, Thunberg said. “It will be like any other conference. Real change is not brought about by conferences, but by people on the street and by people demanding change.”