“Our House Is Still On Fire”: Thunberg Addresses #Davos2020

By Alice Hudson

17 year old climate change activist Greta Thunberg has spoken out at Davos 2020, attacking the world leaders she blames for the crisis; “I know you don’t want to talk about this. But I assure you I will continue to repeat these numbers until you do.”

Davos, a Swiss ski resort, is now home to an annual four-day conference for the World Economic Forum. This year’s conference theme is: ‘Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World’, and aims to bring together 3,000 global participants to track progress towards the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. The key areas addressed this year have been set as;

  1. How to Save the Planet
  2. Society and the Future of Work
  3. Tech for Good
  4. Fairer Economies
  5. Better Business
  6. Healthy Futures
  7. Beyond Geopolitics

Thunberg’s activism has led to her increased fame over the last two years, and this is the second time she has been asked to speak at Davos. Full of humility, Thunberg is aware that her voice is heard, but she has argued that this isn’t enough, and the future of whole world’s youth needs to be considered; “I’m being heard all the time. But the science and the voice of young people are not at the centre of the conversation and they need to be. This is about us and future generations.”

Just hours after Greta Thunberg made her speech, Donald Trump gave a keynote address to the World Economic Forum. Famously sceptic of global warming, Trump has butted heads frequently with Thunberg across social media. Trump spoke out against the climate “prophets of doom”, a thinly veiled attack on Thunberg, as she told him that his actions have been “nowhere near enough”.

Greta Thunberg addressed world leaders as she said; “Our house is still on fire,” referencing her own speech from last year’s summit, and adding, “Your inaction is fuelling the flames.”

The #Davos2020 summit feels bittersweet, as Thunberg is joined by her peers in a first by the World Economic Forum. A group of young activists have been invited from around the world to help put pressure on world leaders. This is an incredible move by the Forum and offers a positive view for the future, as Greta has said; “The climate and environment is a hot topic right now, thanks to young people pushing.”

However, the bleak reality cannot be ignored and she states that, despite this surge in young activism, “virtually nothing has been done, since the global emissions of CO2 have not reduced.” There has not been enough action by world leaders, and Thunberg believes the issue of climate change is still not being taken seriously;

Without treating this as a real crisis we cannot solve it.”

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