Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has said that the world should draw lessons from the coronavirus pandemic and treat climate change with the same urgency as it did with COVID-19. She argued that today's political and economic systems cannot change the climate and ecological crisis. "That isn't an opinion. That's a fact," she said.
A mere "green recovery plan" cannot solve the crisis, she said, adding that the world is at a "social tipping point" on climate change and issues such as Black Lives Matter.
"We cannot keep sweeping these injustices under the carpet," she said, while people have started realizing that they cannot ignore these things anymore, reports BBC.
Thunberg said she was inspired by how people responded to injustices, citing the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. "Humanity has not yet failed," she said
Society has "passed a social tipping point, we can no longer look away from what our society has been ignoring for so long whether it is equality, justice or sustainability", she said.
Thunberg Reflects on Times of Her Speech
The lockdown gave Thunberg time for relaxation while reflecting away from public gaze, said the activist famed for "how dare you" speech in the UN assembly..
Speaking on a radio program, Thunberg looked back at the year she became a top celebrity. She reflected on how world leaders lined up to get pictures with her, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked her if it was okay to post her photo on social media.
Thunberg, skeptical of politicians' motives, said: "Perhaps it makes them forget the shame of their generation letting all future generations down."
She recalled seeing people watch her speech on their phones as she traveled back from the UN, but she felt no urge to celebrate, because, "all that is left are empty words".
She said the only way to reduce emissions on the scale that is necessary is to make fundamental changes to our lifestyles, starting with developing countries. But she doesn't believe any leader has the nerve to do that. She said world leaders do not have the will to make fundamental changes to our lifestyle to reduce emissions.
They end up not reporting their emissions, she alleged, claiming that countries like the UK and Sweden didn't account for the emissions from ships and aircraft as they chose not to count such emissions from goods produced in factories abroad.
Words like green, sustainable, "net-zero", "environmentally friendly", "organic", "climate-neutral" and "fossil-free" were misused so much today, that they have lost their meaning, she said.
She cited the coronavirus crisis and said that in such crises "you act with necessary force", something that should happen with climate too.
She said she was not hopeful of limiting temperature increases, adding that even if countries fulfill carbon reductions as they promised, there will be a "catastrophic" global temperature rise of 3 to 4 degrees.