Energy & Environment

Greta Thunberg says it’s ‘strange’ Biden is considered a leader on climate change

Climate activist Greta Thunberg said it was “strange” that President Biden is considered a leader in climate change and questioned his role in tackling the climate crisis.

In an interview with The Washington Post published Monday, Thunberg was asked if she was inspired by Biden or any world leaders fighting global warming and climate change.

“If you call him a leader,” Thunberg replied.”I mean, it’s strange that people think of Joe Biden as a leader for the climate when you see what his administration is doing.”

Thunberg, 18, has been the face of the youth climate strike, which has turned into a global movement since the teen began protesting in Sweden in 2018. In various appearances around the world, Thunberg has called for world leaders to do more to fight climate change, arguing her generation will see the most damaging effects of global warming if nothing is done.

Most recently, Thunberg spoke out against the actions taken at COP26, the climate change conference held last month in Glasgow, Scotland. World leaders agreed on a plan to cut global carbon dioxide emissions 45 percent by 2030 and pour more money into developing countries to fight climate change.

But Thunberg criticized world leaders for not doing enough, calling it a “PR event.” She told the Post the conference “doesn’t mean anything unless that actually leads to increased ambition and if they actually fulfill those ambitions.”

In March, Thunberg implored the Biden administration to “treat the climate crisis like a crisis.” 

“They have said themselves that this is an existential threat, and they’d better treat it accordingly, which they are not,” she added. “They are just treating the climate crisis as [if] it were a political topic among other topics.”

In his first year as president, Biden rejoined the Paris climate accord, which former President Trump pulled the U.S. out of during his tenure. 

The president has also put forth a domestic agenda aimed at combatting climate change. The Build Back Better Act, a roughly $2 trillion spending package that was passed by the House, contained measures aimed at curbing climate change.

However, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that he could not support the bill earlier this month. Manchin’s opposition meant that the bill would not pass in a 50-50 Senate, when Democrats need every one of their party’s votes to pass the legislation.  

On Monday, Thunberg said the U.S. was still not doing enough, saying the country will increase fossil fuel infrastructure in 2022.

“The U.S. is actually expanding fossil fuel infrastructure. Why is the U.S. doing that?” she said. “It should not fall on us activists and teenagers who just want to go to school to raise this awareness and to inform people that we are actually facing an emergency.”

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that fossil fuel production will increase next year. 

In the Monday interview, Thunberg said “countless people are already bearing the brunt of the climate crisis,” adding that there needs to be more pressure on world leaders to make systemic changes and “prioritize the crisis.”

Thunberg said now, “it’s all about the narrative.”

“It’s all about, what are we actually trying to solve?” she asked. “Is it this emergency, or is it this emergency?”

Tags Biden climate agenda Climate Change Climate change COP26 crisis Donald Trump Environment global warming Greta Thunberg Joe Biden Joe Manchin United States

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