Teen Climate Activist Rips Politicians Ahead of EU Vote

  • In Science
  • 2019-05-24 13:08:39Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Europe's politicians should probably be glad the youth can't vote.

On a day when teenagers across the world again mobilized against climate inaction, the movement's icon, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, said the continent's policy makers -- including environmentalists -- are all failing to heed the climate crisis.

"There's no political party that's doing anywhere near enough," Thunberg said in an interview in Stockholm on Friday. "It's frustrating that I can't vote yet, because this is my future -- I'm among the ones who are going to be most affected by it."

Thunberg spoke as youths went on strike in a so-called Fridays for Future event spanning cities across the world. An event in March saw more than a million youths strike in 125 countries, according to organizers.

Among those taking part was Elsa, a student who missed her French exam to participate.

"I want to save the world by joining the march," Elsa said. "School can wait."

Sweden holds its European Parliament elections on Sunday. Thunberg, who is 16 years old and has Asperger syndrome, hopes they will produce change.

"I just hope that we, during the next five years until the next elections, have really started the transformation required so that we start treating this crisis as a crisis," she said.

EU leaders are currently not doing enough to fight the climate crisis, despite Europe having "enormous responsibility." Even the Green parties "aren't good," she said.

The daughter of a famous opera singer, Thunberg began protesting outside parliament in October and recently featured on the front cover of Time magazine.

Although she's met many world leaders and millions of children around the world have joining her protests, she said only a drastic reduction in emissions would qualify as a success.

One way forward would be to declare a global climate emergency, a proposal that she says has been backed by the U.K., Ireland and other countries, but not yet by Sweden.

This would "send a clear signal that we're in a crisis," she said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Amanda Billner in Stockholm at abillner@bloomberg.net;Sophia Chalmer in London at schalmer@bloomberg.net;Natasha Bowler in London at nbowler5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net, Nick Rigillo

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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