Greta Thunberg will join climate activists and school strikers to pressure leaders at Davos
© Aaron Schwartz

Greta Thunberg and more than a dozen other youth climate activists called on world leaders, executives, policymakers and other participants at the World Economic Forum to end investments in fossil fuels in a new op-ed in The Guardian.

“We have just entered a new decade, a decade where every month and every day will be absolutely crucial in deciding what the future will look like," the letter to attendees at the forum in Davos, Switzerland, states.

“We demand that at this year’s forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels,” the letter continued.

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Thunberg and the youth activists called on the leaders and participants to make the change “right now," describing the issue of climate change as an emergency.

"In an emergency you step out of your comfort zone and make decisions that may not be very comfortable or pleasant. And let’s be clear – there is nothing easy, comfortable or pleasant about the climate and environmental emergency,” said the letter. 

The letter said that young people are being “let down” by older generations and those in power around the world due to their inaction on climate change, noting that 33 “major global banks” have poured $1.9 trillion on fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris climate agreement was signed. 

The letter called on financial institutions to “stop investing in the fossil fuel economy” and invest that money instead in “existing sustainable technologies, research and in restoring nature.” 

The theme of this year’s forum in Davos is “stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world,” which Thunberg and the activists said means that their request "is perhaps not so far-fetched."

"Anything less than immediately ceasing these investments in the fossil fuel industry would be a betrayal of life itself," the letter states. "Today’s business as usual is turning into a crime against humanity. We demand that leaders play their part in putting an end to this madness. Our future is at stake, let that be their investment.”

Thunberg attended the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019, where she similarly called on world leaders to act on climate change.

"Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope. But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act,” Thunberg said at the time.

Thunberg was joined in the Friday piece by climate activists from around the world, including Jean Hinchliffe, Australia; Danielle Ferreira de Assis, Brazil; Joel Enrique Peña Panichine, Chile; Robin Jullian, France; Luisa Neubauer, Germany; Licipriya Kangujam, India; David Wicker, Italy; Julia Haddad, Lebanon; Oladosu Adenike, Nigeria; Iqbal Badruddin, Pakistan; Arshak Makichyan, Russia; Holly Gillibrand, Scotland; Alejandro Martínez, Spain; Isabelle Axelsson, Sweden; Sophia Axelsson, Sweden; Ell Jarl, Sweden; Mina Pohankova, Sweden; Linus Dolder, Switzerland; Vanessa Nakate, Uganda; Tokata Iron Eyes, USA.