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Greta Thunberg says that teenagers have been “betrayed” by those in power.
The 19-year-old activist – who became known around the world when she staged regular school strikes outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018 to protest against climate change and has gone on to become a figurehead of the movement – recently announced her decision to avoid COP27 this month in Egypt, having accused the United Nations of “green-washing” their annual summit but when asked how she felt about UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also choosing to also skip the event, she noted that it was a sign of government failure.
She said: “All these individual cases have many different reasons why they made these decisions, so of course we shouldn’t be focussing ourselves blindly to just one example.
“The people in power do not really prioritise the climate crisis and have proven time and time again that their priorities are somewhere else entirely, they would rather stay in power and serve the forces of greed.”
Greta insisted people needed to keep “demanding this change”.
She continued: “The change is going to come from the outside when enough people are demanding this change, because they are most likely going to do what they can, as long as they can get away with it. So we have to make sure that they do not get away with it.”
Meanwhile, she admitted she goes for “long walks” to “clear her head” and deal with the idea of being a frontrunner in the campaign.
She said: “I usually go for very, very long walks, to try to clear my head. It shouldn’t have to be like this, this responsibility shouldn’t have to fall on teenagers at all. The fact that there are young people, mostly, who have to take up this fight is a sign of betrayal and failure from those in power.”
Greta also explained that there has been a “difference” in activism since her rise to fame because “millions” have joined her in protest but claimed that the action taken has been “not nearly” enough and we need “everyone” to play a part in managing the crisis.
Speaking on UK TV show ‘This Morning’ on ITV, she said: “You could look at it in a way that emissions are still on the rise and we are speeding in the wrong direction. We are still expanding fossil fuels for infrastructure and so on. There is no sense of urgency whatsoever. No one is acting if we are in a crisis. But on the other hand, of course, we have had millions of people flooding the streets and demanding action.
“So, it depends on how you see it. Of course, there has been a difference but not nearly enough. It’s very difficult to describe. We never thought that it would be possible to do anything like that. In the beginning, it was just me, and then it was a handful of others – schoolchildren.
“We just thought that since we had the opportunity to do something, it was our moral duty to go out and act. Someone needed to take action so we just did it. We didn’t count on any consequences or so on, we just did it.”