Greta Thunberg's Speech to the 2021 Austrian World Summit
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
18-year-old, Climate Activist Greta Thunberg, addressed the Austrian World Summit on Saturday, 10 July 2021. The full transcript of Greta Thunberg's speech is posted below.
Video originally uploaded by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Follow @GretaThunberg on Twitter
“Thank you for having me.”
“Tomorrow, one hundred and fifty weeks will have passed since we started the school strike for the climate. And during this time, more and more people around the world have woken up to the climate and ecological crisis putting more and more pressure on you, the people in power. Eventually, the public pressure was too much, and you had the world’s eyes on you. So, you started to act, not acting as if taking climate action, but acting as in role-playing. Playing politics, playing with words, and playing with our futures. Pretending to take responsibility."
"Acting as saviors as you tried to convince us that things are being taken care of. Meanwhile, the gap between your rhetoric and reality keeps growing wider and wider. And since the level of awareness is so, you almost get away with it, but let’s be clear, what you are doing is not about climate action or responding to an emergency it never was. This is ‘communication tactics’ disguised as politics. You, especially leaders from high-income nations, are pretending to change and listen to the young people while you continue pretty much exactly like before. Pretending to take science seriously by saying, ‘Science is back.’ While holding climate summits without even inviting one climate scientist as [a] speaker."
"Pretending to wage a war against fossil fuels while opening up brand new coal mines, oil fields, and pipelines. You don’t only continue business-as-usual as before, in many cases you’re even speeding up and scaling up the process."
"Pretending to have the most ambitious climate policies while granting new oil licenses exploring future oil fields."
"Bragging about your so-called ambitious climate commitments which if you look holistically are vastly insufficient and then get caught not even trying to reach those targets."
"Pretending to care about nature and biodiversity while the world is cutting down a forest area the size of a football field [110 meters long by 75 meters wide] every second."
"Pretending to be a climate leader while locking in a few, too common agricultural policies that will make the Paris Agreement impossible to reach.”
“Pretending that you will ‘Build Back Better’ after the pandemic even though astronomical sums of money have already been locked in and not in green projects – whatever ‘Green’ means. The G7, as an example, is spending billions more on fossil fuels and fossil fuel infrastructure than on clean energy. This, you compensate with beautiful words and promises that someone in the future will somehow undo your actions and make them net zero. And when your empty words are not enough, when the protests grow too loud, you respond by making the protests illegal. Of course, we welcome all efforts to safeguard future and present living conditions and this distant net zero emissions targets could be a great start if they weren’t full of gaps and loopholes. Like leaving out emissions from imported goods, international aviation, and shipping, as well as the burning of biomass using baseline manipulation, excluding most feedback loops, and tipping points, ignoring the crucial aspects of equity and historic emissions, and as well as making these targets [while] completely relying on fantasy-scale, currently-barely-existing negative emissions technologies."
"But as your acts continue, more and more of us are seeing through your manuscripts, and your role-playing. The gap between your actions and words is becoming more impossible to ignore while more and more extreme weather events are raging all around us. And as a result, young people all over this planet are no longer falling for your lies. You are distancing yourself further and further away from us and from reality. Some years ago, you could still claim, ‘We are moving in the right direction.’ Today, that is no longer possible. 2021 is currently forecasted to be the year with the second highest emission rise ever. You say we need to move slowly to bring the public along; however, how do you, honestly, expect to bring people along if you don’t treat this crisis like a crisis?"
"If it is one thing the pandemic has proven, once and for all, it is that climate and ecological emergencies have never once been treated as emergencies. The climate crisis is today, at best, being treated only as a business opportunity to create new green jobs, new green businesses, and technologies. As the pandemic unfolded, you did not say, ‘This will benefit the face [mask] manufacturing industry’ or ‘This will create new jobs in healthcare and hospitals.’ Taking bold climate action will naturally bring many advantages and benefits, yet, needless to say, we will not be able to solve a crisis we do not treat as a crisis and that we do not understand the magnitude of. Perhaps playing a role helps you sleep at night. Saying things just for the sake of it because the words are in your scripts."
"But while you are busy working the stage, you seem to forget that the climate crisis is not something distant in the future, it is already taking so much from the most affected people in the most affected areas. This might just be a game to you. A game to win votes, popularity, points on the stock market, or your next high-paid position in a company or lobbying firm. The ones who focus on the packaging rather than on the actual content are the ones with the most beautiful speeches, and the most short-sighted, likable policies win. You can, and will, of course, choose to continue to play your parts, saying your lines, and wearing your costumes. You can and will continue to pretend, but nature and physics will not fall for it. Nature and physics are not entertained nor distracted by your theater. The audience has grown weary. The show is over."
About this Article
This video was uploaded to YouTube on the 2nd of July in 2021. At the time this article was posted, the video had been viewed a mere 44 thousand times. I found this disturbing. This message, her message, should be blaring across the internet octaves higher than any sporting event. Therefore, I decided to promote this video and push this message on this platform and on Twitter.
About the Author
Born in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Chris Perry travels the world as he writes for and manages the Grey Point of View. His hobbies include mastering the art of web design, navigating global news, and studying weapons of mass destruction.
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