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Greta Thunberg slams COP26 as 'greenwashing' failure

DW logo DW 05/11/2021

Globally renowned Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on Friday slammed the COP26 UN climate summit as "a failure" at the first of various protest marches throughout the weekend.

Thunberg labeled the summit in Glasgow to cut emissions "a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah" during the Fridays for Future march.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg hit out at the lack of leadership against climate change © Provided by dw.com Climate activist Greta Thunberg hit out at the lack of leadership against climate change

What did Greta Thunberg say?

"It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure," Thunberg told thousands of mainly young protesters that had gathered in the Scottish city.

"This is no longer a climate conference. This is now a global greenwashing festival."

She hit out at delegates from 200 countries who had got together to work out how to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit climate change across the globe.

"They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us," said Thunberg.

"Our leaders are not leading. This is what leadership looks like," she said, pointing to the crowd.

The founder of Fridays for Future said leaders of the global north seemed to be trying to prevent any real change.

"They are actively creating loopholes and shaping frameworks to benefit themselves and to continue profiting from this destruction," she said. "We need immediate drastic annual emission cuts unlike anything the world has ever seen."

What's been achieved so far?

The COP26 started with real hope as over 100 countries committed themselves to cutting emissions by at least 30% this decade.

But environmental groups doubted the pledge, suggesting that especially richer countries often fail to live up to their promises.

The UN estimated that under the proposed climate action plans the earth would warm up by 2.7 degrees Celsius this century.

"Youth have brought critical urgency to the talks," Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said. "They have emphasized what is at stake for young people if the gap to 1.5 C is not closed."

"World leaders are obviously scared of the truth, yet no matter how hard they try, they cannot escape it," 18-year-old Thunberg said.

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