Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist, sailed across the Atlantic in 2019 to attend climate conferences in the Americas, including COP25, a United Nations (UN) conference aimed at raising awareness of climate change. However, now, three years later, Thunberg has declared that she will not attend Cop27 because it is a “scam”.
The science and other stuff to know
Thunberg has been active in debates about the effects of climate change for the past five years. In fact, she started a one-person climate change protest in late 2018 that grew into a global movement. She is now 19 years old and continues to pave the way for her generation in this social and political discussion that determines the future of our planet, civilization, and even species.
In a conference at the Southbank Center for the launch of her new book The Climate Book, Thunberg stated that she will not attend Cop27, which will take place in Egypt between November 6 and 18. She stated that this is because she believes the conference’s primary objective is merely political and is inadequate in comparison to the discussions and transformative decisions that must be made urgently to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change.
The activists’ call to turn the industrial and social model into a sustainable one is based on the systematic evidence that the current paradigm is terraforming the planet with greenhouse gas emissions. According to the latest UN report, the Earth’s average temperature has risen at a rate of a tenth of a degree Celsius per decade and the data indicate that, even with drastic changes in our industrial paradigm, the average temperature will rise at least 1.5° Celsius by 2100.
If the changes are not as fast or as deep, for that year the rise may be up to 2°. It may not seem much, but the consequences will be significant: global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C. Coral reefs would decrease between 70 and 90% with global warming of 1.5 °C, while with 2ºC practically all of them (99%) would be lost.
The consequences could be catastrophic if action is not taken now. In this sense, Thunberg considers a lukewarm event like Cop27 a waste of time and resources; it fails to resolve urgent issues, but rather establishes a kind of polite agenda that never materializes because its declarers have power but lack the political will to execute the transformations.
On her Twitter account, Thunberg wrote: “A reminder: People in power don’t need conferences, treaties, or agreements to start taking real climate action. They can start today. When enough people come together, change will come, and we can achieve almost anything. So instead of looking for hope, start creating it.”
The horizon of transformation is complex and deserves the commitment, dedication, and will of all our species. Raising climate awareness is the key so that the next generations have more environmentally friendly life styles and demand policies that mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change inherited from previous generations that, through ignorance or ambition, destroyed their own habitat.