Greta Thunberg calls for an end to "three decades of blah blah blah"

Stockholm, Sweden - Climate activist Greta Thunberg has accused politicians and businesses of persistent ignorance and empty talk in the fight against the environmental crisis.

Greta Thunberg gave an impassioned speech during the 2021 World Economic Forum, held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Greta Thunberg gave an impassioned speech during the 2021 World Economic Forum, held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.  © IMAGO / TT

The crisis can no longer be solved within the current system, and the time for small steps is long gone, the 18-year-old Swede said in a video address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, a recording of which she posted on Twitter on Monday evening.

"The longer we avoid this uncomfortable truth and longer we pretend that we can solve the climate and ecological emergency without treating it as an emergency, the more precious time we will lose," Thunberg said. "And this is time we do not have."

She said she understands things can't change overnight, "But you now have had more than three decades of blah blah blah. How many more do you need?"

The young Swede went on to criticize the fact that only vague climate targets were being set for the distant future, instead of actual and immediate action on the crisis. "It’s like waking up in the middle of the night, seeing your house on fire, then deciding to wait 10, 20 or 30 years before you call the fire department while labeling those trying to wake people up alarmists." According to Thunberg, what is needed now, among other things, is annual binding carbon budgets.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional WEF annual meeting is taking place online for the first time this year rather than in Davos, Switzerland. Through Friday, political, business, and social leaders will discuss current challenges, including the pandemic and climate change, in online forums.

Thunberg gave one of her first speeches at the Davos forum two years ago, which attracted international attention. In that speech, she also used the image of the burning house to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis.

"I am here to say our house is on fire," she said in 2019. "I don’t want your hope. […] I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as if you would in a crisis."

Cover photo: IMAGO / TT

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