Teen activist Greta Thunberg: World officials 'misleading' instead of leading on climate change

Teen activist Greta Thunberg: World officials 'misleading' instead of leading on climate change
© Getty Images

Swedish teen climate activist Greta ThunbergGreta ThunbergLet's plan for human ingenuity in our fight against climate change Energy & Environment — Beyond COP26 Greta Thunberg dismisses COP26 pact: 'The real work continues outside these halls' MORE railed against business and political leaders in a speech on global warming, accusing them of not addressing the world’s “climate emergency” with enough urgency.

“The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening, when in fact almost nothing is being done, apart from clever accounting and creative PR,” Thunberg said at the United Nations COP25 climate talks in Madrid, according to The Associated Press.

She added that leaders should be working toward "holistic solutions" at the event, instead of using it to "negotiate loopholes and to avoid raising their ambition.”


She also pointed to pledges made by several countries to reduce carbon emissions, saying they are not enough, and instead called for no longer using the greenhouse gases responsible for rising temperatures.

“This is not leading, this is misleading,” Thunberg said, according to the AP, adding that “every fraction of a degree matters.”

Following her speech, dozens of climate activists, including representatives of indigenous peoples from several continents, reportedly joined Thunberg on stage to demand “Climate Justice!” 

Thunberg has become a central figure in the global movement to fight climate change since leading school strikes in her home country of Sweden and elsewhere around the world, sparking young activists to refuse to attend classes as a way to protest against inaction on the issue.

She has drawn scorn from several world leaders for her advocacy. Most recently, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called her a “brat” for her efforts to raise awareness of the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Following the Brazilian president's attack, Thunberg added the Portuguese word for "brat" to her Twitter bio.