Greta Thunberg Calls World Leaders ‘Hypocrites’ Over Their Handling Of The Climate Crisis

by : Emily Brown on :
Greta Thunberg Calls World Leaders 'Hypocrites' Over Their Handling Of The Climate CrisisPA Images

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg labelled world leaders as ‘hypocrites’ for the way they are handling the climate crisis. 

The teenager, who turns 18 in January, has long been campaigning for change, travelling the world and encouraging people to take to the streets in an effort to raise awareness for the urgent action needed to tackle climate change, but her mission is far from over.


In a recent interview, Thunberg argued that leaders were happy to set environmental targets for the future but are reluctant to take immediate action.

Greta Thunberg Brands EU's New Climate Law 'Surrender'PA images

Speaking to The Guardian, she recalled Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) asking for her support in September when the EU was deciding its target for emissions cuts by 2030, but she pointed out that this action won’t be likely to impact them.

Thunberg said:


When it’s about something that is in 10 years’ time, they are more than happy to vote for it because that doesn’t really impact them. But when it’s something that actually has an effect, right here right now, they don’t want to touch it. It really shows the hypocrisy.

Following the coronavirus outbreak in March, leaders across the world recognised that fast action was needed and made efforts to stem the spread of the virus. Thunberg says that until we start treating the climate crisis in the same way, society will be unable to stop global warming.


If we do treat the climate crisis ‘like a crisis’, it could ‘change everything overnight’, Thunberg believes.


She continued:

As long as we don’t treat the climate crisis like a crisis, we can have as many conferences as we want, but it will just be negotiations, empty words, loopholes and greenwash.

Thunberg further referred to ‘loopholes’ in pledges by nations including the UK, China and Japan to reach net zero by 2050 or 2060. She argued that these promises ‘mean something symbolically’, but said that far into the future the targets ‘won’t mean anything because our carbon budgets will be long gone.’

Greta ThunbergPA Images

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The activist also referred to the global temperature limit set by the Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep a global temperature rise well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and she suggested the scale and speed of the emissions reductions needed to stay within this limit are unrealistic.

She said the ‘whole society would just shut down and too many people would suffer’ in order to hit the targets, so instead ‘the first thing we need to do is understand we are in an emergency [and] admit the fact that we have failed – humanity collectively has failed – because you can’t solve a crisis that you don’t understand.’

As she nears voting age, Thunberg has said she will back the best party available, but she has made clear that she believes no politicians have strong enough views about the issues.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Climate Change, climate crisis, Environment, Global Warming, Greta Thunberg, Now, Paris agreement


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    ‘Hypocrites and greenwash’: Greta Thunberg blasts leaders over climate crisis