- Title: Thunberg says COP26 is time for leaders to be honest
- Date: 12th October 2021
- Summary: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (OCTOBER 6, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SITTING AT TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I think, as it is now, we are so, so far behind of what would be needed. We are so far away from anything that would be even close to being in line with the Paris agreement or staying below 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. So, what I would consider to be a success would be honesty - that we highlight the gap between what we are saying and what we are actually doing. I think that's what needed. In order for us to confront this, to change things, we need to come to terms with where we are actually at, we need to understand the situation and sit down and just try to understand where we are, because that's not what we are doing now. We are trying to find concrete, small solutions that are symbolic in order to make it seem like we are doing something - anything - without actually confronting any of the problems at all. We are still not counting all the emissions when we are announcing targets. We are still using creative accounting when it comes to emission cuts, and so on. As long as that's the case then we will not get very far." VARIOUS OF THUNBERG SITTING AT TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "My expectation is that we will hear many, many nice speeches, we will hear many pledges that, if you really look into the details, are more or less meaningless, but they just say them in order to have something to say, in order for media to have something to report about. Since they don't really receive any follow up questions they can say almost whatever they want. So, that I expect, and then I expect things to continue to remain the same, pretty much as it is now, if they do not receive any big public pressure from the outside. So, that's what I expect." THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW THUNBERG'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "Maybe leaders being honest will create a sense of urgency that will make people wake up. We don't know what will lead to the change. All that we can do is try to raise awareness and create that sense of urgency that we so drastically need right now." THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW, DRINKING WATER (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I think that would be us treating it as an emergency and realising that these COPs (Conference of the Parties climate conferences) as they are now will not lead to anything unless there is big, massive, public pressure from the outside." THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "Young people have been leading the climate fight for a very long time, but of course we cannot do this alone. We are not the ones in power, we don't have much influence, so we need help from everyone else. In such an emergency as we are in right now, everyone needs to take their moral responsibility, at least I think so, and use whatever power they have, whatever platform they have, to use to try to influence, and to try to push in the right direction to make a change. I think that's our duty as human beings." THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "It's not much to adjust to, I think. I think when you stay grounded it's not so hard to come back to normal life again. And I am fortunate to live in Sweden, where people don't care as much for famous people. So I'm being left alone." THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "Because of the pandemic we moved more online and I think we've got more close contact, like internationally we have better organised network, and we can work better together. So I think that's a difference." THUNBERG'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I'm trying to be efficient - do all the homework while I am at school, so that when I go home I am free to do other things, to work." THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I would want to continue to study, because I like doing that. But I don't know what, or where or when. I'm sort of procrastinating that. But I guess we'll see where I end up, I guess." VARIOUS OF THUNBERG DURING INTERVIEW
- Embargoed: 26th October 2021 14:03
- Keywords: COP26 Fridays for Future Greta Thunberg climate change parliament
- Location: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
- City: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
- Country: Sweden
- Topics: Climate Change,Environment,Europe,General News,Government / Politics,Editors' Choice,Climate Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EYUSA4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: For climate activist Greta Thunberg, success at the upcoming U.N. climate conference will come only if world leaders honestly admit that their action is not living up to their words.
The summit, taking place next month in Glasgow, Scotland, aims to secure pledges by the world's nations to limit the global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.
"We are so, so far behind what would be needed," the 18-year-old told Reuters in an interview at the kitchen table of her two-bedroom Stockholm apartment on October 6, after returning home from high school.
"Maybe leaders being honest will create a sense of urgency that will make people wake up."
In just three years since she started skipping school on Fridays to protest alone outside the Swedish parliament, Thunberg has become a global figure, giving voice to her generation's fury at the world's failure to tackle a problem known about for decades.
Next month's COP26 summit is billed as the last big chance for leaders to announce firm targets to cut climate-warming industrial emissions this decade.
Thunberg says she will probably go to the conference, but expects to be disappointed once again.
With global temperatures already 1.1 C higher, and a U.N. climate panel warning that climate change is close to spinning out of control, Thunberg discussed the upcoming summit in interviews with Reuters, NBC News and The Nation, coordinated through Covering Climate Now, a media partnership.
Over the last three years, millions of young people joined Thunberg's Fridays for Future movement, skipping school to protest for action against climate change.
After a year out of class promoting her cause full time, Thunberg is now a student once more, enrolled in her second year of high school.
She has moved from her parents' home into her first apartment, a borrowed one, shared with a labrador named Roxy and a golden retriever called Moses.
Her father, Svante, visits often.
Her younger sister and opera-singing mother Malena Ernman are performing these days in Stockholm in a musical about Edith Piaf.
The forthrightness which brought her to global attention is still her trademark.
Before the interview, she said her autism - a diagnosis she has referred to in the past as a "superpower" - made her more comfortable looking directly into the camera than towards an interviewer.
Last month, she mocked world leaders in a speech to youth activists in Milan, saying: "Build back better, blah blah blah, green economy, blah blah blah, net zero by 2050, blah blah blah, climate neutral, blah blah blah."
Now, she says she is trying to manage her work with Fridays For Future with her regular school workload.
Because of the pandemic, the movement meets mostly online, making it less time consuming.
She has few plans for when she finishes high school in two years, but said she wanted to continue studying.
And after school? "I'm sort of procrastinating that. But I guess we'll see where I end up."
(Production: Philip O'Connor, Ilze Filks)
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