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Thunberg urges world to tackle climate change with same urgency as coronavirus

The teenager hopes coronavirus will open up the discussion about deaths caused by climate change.

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg
Image: Aaron Chown via PA Images

ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG has called on governments to treat the threat of climate change with the same urgency as coronavirus.

The 17-year-old said that, as a result of the pandemic, it feels like the world has passed “some kind of social tipping point”.

“People are starting to realise that we cannot keep looking away from these things, we cannot keep sweeping these injustices under the carpet,” she said.

Thunberg, who founded the Schools Strike for Climate movement, made the comments as part of a programme for Swedish radio that was shared with the BBC.

She criticised major industries for appropriating and misusing the terms like “sustainable”, “net-zero” and “environmentally friendly” to the point they have become meaningless.

But she believes some hope for the climate can come out of the pandemic.

She said: “It shows that in a crisis, you act, and you act with necessary force,” adding: “Suddenly people in power are saying they will do whatever it takes since you cannot put a price on human life.”

Thunberg said she hopes coronavirus will open up the discussion about deaths caused by climate change, such as the thousands who die prematurely in London every year due to air pollution.

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She criticised apparent attempts of governments around the world to hide their true carbon footprints by being very selective about which processes are included in the total.

Some ignore emissions from ships and aircraft, as well as the emissions from goods produced in factories abroad.

The teenager has previously slammed the UK’s declining carbon emissions figures as “creative accounting”.

“Doing our best is no longer good enough. We must now do the seemingly impossible. And that is up to you and me. Because no one else will do it for us,” she said.

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