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COP26: Why Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Is Calling The UN Climate Summit A Failure

Environmental activist, Greta Thunberg demanded quicker action from leaders to address the climate emergency at COP26

"They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us," said Greta Thunberg at the protest organized by “Fridays For Future” during the ongoing COP26
"They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us," said Greta Thunberg at the protest organized by “Fridays For Future” during the ongoing COP26
  • The COP-26 has turned into a PR event: Greta Thunberg
  • What will it take for the people in power to wake up: Greta
  • 'The most affected people in the most affected areas still remain unheard'

New Delhi: Criticising the world leaders for not discussing the ‘root cause’ of the climate crisis and not taking quicker actions to address global warming, 18-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg called the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow so far ‘a failure’. Ms Thunberg was speaking at a strike organized by ‘Fridays For Future’ on Friday (November 5) outside the conference venue. The protest saw thousands march 1.6 miles in the city from Kelvingrove Park to George Park in Glasgow’s city center, demanding urgent action from world leaders.

Also Read: Explainer: What Is COP26 And Why Is It So Important For Tackling Climate Change Crisis?

It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place. And more and more people are starting to realise this. Many are starting to ask themselves what will it take for the people in power to wake up. But let’s be clear. They are already awake. They know exactly what they are doing, Ms Thunberg said in her speech.

Calling out the leaders for greenwashing the unsustainable means of development in their countries, Ms Thunberg said,

They know exactly what priceless values that are sacrificing to maintain business as usual. The leaders are doing nothing. They are actively creating loopholes and shaping frameworks to benefit themselves and to continue profiting from this destructive system. This is an active choice by the leaders to continue to let the exploitation of people and nature and the destruction of present and future living conditions take place.

Ms Thunberg further said that the COP26 has turned into a ‘PR (Public Relation) event’ where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets while behind the curtains, the governments of the global north countries are refusing to take any drastic climate action. She added,

It seems like their main goal is to continue to fight for status quo. And COP26 has been named the most exclusionary COP ever. This is no longer a climate conference. This is now a global north greenwash festival. A two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah.

Also Read: PM Modi At G20 Session: India Is Not Only Rapidly Achieving The Paris Agreement Goals But Also Busy Setting Higher Targets

According to Ms Thunberg, the leaders and those in power do not pay attention to the voices of the youth and the people worst affected by the climate crisis. She said,

The most affected people in the most affected areas still remain unheard and the voices of future generations are drowning in their greenwash and empty words and promises. But the facts do not lie and we know our emperors are naked.

The activist stressed that there is a need of immediate, drastic annual emission cuts unlike anything the world has ever seen before, to stay below the target set in the Paris agreement.

At the current emissions rate, our remaining CO2 budgets to give us the best chances of staying below 1.5 degree Celsius will be gone within the end of this decade. And the climate and ecological crisis of course doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is directly tied to other crises and injustices that date back to colonialism and beyond, crises based on the idea that some people are worth more than others and therefore have the right to exploit others and to steal their land and resources. And it is very naive of us to this that we could solve this crisis without addressing the root cause of it, she said.

Through her speech, the climate campaigner told the world leaders that there is no use of distant non-binding pledges and commitments that can be avoided because of loopholes in those.

Expressing her disappointment with the world leaders, Ms Thunberg said that they continue to ignore the consequences of their actions but the youth will not accept this and history will judge them poorly.

They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and above all, they cannot ignore us, the people, including their own children, she said while signing off.

Also Read: The Impact Of Climate Change On Health: Reducing Risks And Increasing Resilience In The Era of COVID-19

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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