The R20 Conference on Climate Change in Vienna, the Austrian capital brought together Greta Thunberg and UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, where both pilloried the lack of concerted action to combat the climate emergency
16 year old Swedish teenage activist, and now a key face for the climate movement, Greta Thunberg continued to show up world leaders at Vienna too.
Speaking at the conference, Thunberg warned world leaders that global warming is the ‘biggest crisis humanity has ever faced’ before launching into a spirited attack on them for not being sincere about fighting it.
She spoke about how even new, sometimes it is the opportunity to create new green jobs and businesses that is driving action, not the urgency of specific steps needed.
‘This is above all an emergency and not just any emergency. This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.’
Greta Thunberg came into prominence after she stood outside the Swedish parliament in a solo protest last August, protesting inaction, or lackdaisikal approach to the climate crisis. Thousands of schoolchildren across the world have latched on to her message and walked out of classes in demonstrations around the world, that are still spreading ojut to more and more places.
For the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the shift to plain speaking was even more important, underlining just how frustrated the global body is, with the pace of change needed to fight what they clearly believe is the biggest crisis for mankind. “Many people still think that to give fossil fuel subsidies is a way to improve living conditions of people,” he said in remarks delivered at a Vienna conference on climate change.There is nothing more wrong than that. What we are doing is using taxpayers’ money – which means our money – to boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals. In one word – to destroy the world.”
Guterres called for “a rapid and deep change in how we do business, how we generate power, how we build cities, and how we feed the world”, so that global heating can be curbed, and people and the planet protected from harm.
As things stand right now, even if governments met the commitments they made under the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, temperatures would still rise more than 3 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times, “a catastrophic situation”, according to Guterres .
The R20, or Regions of climate action is a grouping that believes in a bottoms up approach to combat climate change. Thus, its members include countries, states, cities and business and non-profits focused on finding ways to share and execute climate strategies.