Greta Thunberg, at COP26, Says Talks Are Becoming a ‘Greenwash Campaign’
Environmentalists, however, criticized the financing pledge as lacking in detail. Several key leaders, including President Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, were also criticized for not attending the event in person. Environmentalists say that China and Russia’s targets are not ambitious enough, and activists are skeptical that Mr. Bolsonaro will follow through on his country’s pledge to end deforestation by 2028.
Ms. Nakate, a 24-year-old climate activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement, said at the panel discussion on Thursday that the pledge by leaders of the 20 largest economies to “pursue efforts” to keep the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius did not go far enough.
She said that 1.5 degrees would “not be safe” for communities like hers. “Even right now, it’s already evident that the climate crisis is ravaging different parts of the African continent,” Ms. Nakate said.
Ms. Yousafzai, 24, said that women were disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis.
“Treating climate change and gender inequality and girls’ education as separate issues is not doing justice to the cause of creating a fairer and better and cleaner world for all of us,” Ms. Yousafzai said. “It is important that we take these issues seriously and see the link between all of these.”
She and the other activists on Thursday said there was reason for hope. When the moderator at Ms. Thunberg’s event asked what one fact the panelists would want everyone in the world to know, she said that people should understand that their individual actions can make a difference. The changes that are necessary will not come from inside of conferences like COP26, she said.
“This is the misconception,” Ms. Thunberg said. “That what we as individuals do doesn’t have an impact.”
“And I’m not talking about not using plastic and so on,” she said. “I’m talking about going out onto the streets and making our voices heard, organizing marches, demanding change.”