Message from Greta Thunberg at the Davos Forum: “Our house is still on fire”


DAVOS, Switzerland – Greta Thunberg on Tuesday opened a gap in promises that emerged from a forum of the global political and business elite and instead offered an ultimatum: stop investing in fossil fuels immediately or explain to your children why not protected from the “climate chaos” you created.

“I wonder, what will they tell their children that was the reason why they failed and left them facing the climate chaos that caused them knowingly?” Thunberg, 17, said at the annual meeting of the rich and powerful of the world in Davos, a town in the icy expanses of the Swiss Alps.

His comments opened a round table organized by The New York Times and the World Economic Forum. The full transcript is available here.

“Our house is still on fire,” he added, repeating his most famous line of an address last year in the forum. “Your inaction is feeding the flames per hour.”

His comments came at a time when climate change and environmental sustainability occupied the first place of discussion of many of the government executives and leaders gathered in Davos.

Ms. Thunberg, a climate activist known for speaking bluntly to power, rebuked the crowd for promises she said she would do very little: reduce the gases that heat the planet to net zero by 2050, offset emissions by planting a billion Trees, transition to a low level – carbon economy.

“Let’s be clear. We don’t need a” low carbon economy. “We don’t need to” reduce emissions, “he said.” Our emissions have to stop. “

Only that, he said, would allow the world to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels, which scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. She and a group of young climate activists have asked private investors and governments to immediately stop fossil fuel exploration, stop financing their production, put an end to taxpayer subsidies for the industry and eliminate completely your existing interests in the sector.

Scientists have said that emissions must be halved in the next decade to reach the 1.5 degree target. The opposite is happening. Global emissions continued to rise, reaching a record in 2019, according to research published in December.

His speech began just an hour after President Trump’s speech at the forum, which barely mentioned climate change, except to implicitly describe climate activists as “heirs of the foolish fools of yesterday.” Ms. Thunberg did not address him directly, except to remind the audience that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement by the end of this year.

Ms. Thunberg struggled to distance herself from politics. “It’s not about right or left. We couldn’t care less about his party’s policy, “he said.” From a sustainability perspective, the right, the left and the center have failed. No political ideology or economic structure has been able to address the climatic and environmental emergency. “


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