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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
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Greta Thunberg tells EU it needs 'cathedral-thinking' on climate change

“Notre Dame will be rebuilt”, Thunberg told MEPs, “I hope its foundations are strong, I hope ours are even stronger.”

THE SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD SWEDISH climate change activist Greta Thunberg addressed the European Parliament’s environment committee to tell them to use “cathedral-thinking” in tackling climate change.

At one point during an impassioned speech, Thunberg became visibly upset when she listed how humans were causing “climate economical breakdown”, such as deforestation, air pollution, the extinction of animals and the acidification of oceans.

Accusing world leaders of being too relaxed in tackling climate change, she said that she wants leaders to panic, evoking an image of a house on fire.

“A great number of politicians have told me that panic never leads to anything good, but when your house is on fire, then that does require some level of panic,” she said.

But when your house is on fire and you want to keep your house from burning to the ground, then that does require some level of panic.

Speaking about the fire that destroyed the main roof and spire of the Notre Dame cathedral, Thunberg said that “Notre Dame will be rebuilt, I hope its foundations are strong, I hope that our foundations are even stronger, but I fear they are not.”

If our house was falling apart, our leaders wouldn’t go on like the way they do today [in tackling climate change]. You would change everything you do.

Criticising EU leaders for flying around the world in business class, or for not phasing out coal immediately.

“You wouldn’t hold three emergency Brexit summits and no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and environment,” she told MEPs.

You wouldn’t be celebrating that one single nation like Ireland may soon divest from fossil fuels…. It’s 30 years too late for those types of celebrations.

“If our house was falling apart the media wouldn’t be talking about anything else. You wouldn’t spend all your time arguing about taxes or Brexit. Well, our house is falling apart.”

At 16, she said that she is too young to vote in the upcoming European elections, but said that people needed to “unite behind the science”.

You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren. You vote for the future living conditions of mankind.

“You cannot ignore the scientists or the science, I beg you please do not fail on this.”

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