Davos 2023: Greta Thunberg accuses energy companies of putting people ‘under the bus’

Davos 2023: Greta Thunberg accuses energy companies of putting people 'under the bus'
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DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Greta Thunberg urged the global energy industry and financiers to end all fossil fuel investments at a high-level meeting with the US President in Davos on Thursday. International Energy Agency (IEA).

During a roundtable discussion with Fatih Birol on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, activists said they presented a “stop and go” letter to CEOs calling for a halt to new oil, gas and coal extraction.

“As long as they can get away with it, they will continue to invest in fossil fuels, they will continue to throw people under the bus,” Thunberg warned.

The oil and gas industry, which has been accused by activists of hijacking the climate change debate at the Swiss ski resort, said it should be part of the energy transition as fossil fuels will continue to play an important role in the energy mix. as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.

Thunberg, who was detained by police during a demonstration at a coal mine in Germany earlier this week, discussed with Birol the issue of tackling big issues with Helena Gualinga from Ecuador, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda and Luisa Neubauer from Germany.

Birol, whose agency made policy recommendations on energy, thanked activists for meeting with him, but insisted that the transition must involve a range of stakeholders, particularly in the face of the global energy security crisis.

Meeting with some of the biggest names in the oil and gas industry in Davos earlier on Thursday, the IEA chief said that because of the energy crisis there is no reason to justify investment in new oil fields, and once they become operational, the climate crisis would be worse.

He also said he was less pessimistic than climate activists about the transition to clean energy.

“We can have some legitimate optimism,” he said, adding: “The amount of renewable energy coming into the market last year was at a record level.”

But he acknowledged that the transition was not happening fast enough and warned that emerging and developing countries would risk being left behind if advanced economies did not support the transition.

Young climate activist Greta Thunberg, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland on January 19, with the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol (not pictured), on “Taking the climate crisis as a crisis” participating in a discussion , 2023. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


The United Nations climate conference held in Egypt last year established a loss and damage fund to compensate the countries most affected by climate change events.

Nakate, who protested alone in front of Uganda’s parliament for several months in 2019, said the fund was “still an empty bucket with no money”.

“Real money is needed for loss and damage”.

In 2019, Thunberg, then 16, attended the DEF keynote, famous for telling leaders “our house is on fire”. He returned to Davos the following year.

However, he declined to participate as an official delegate this year as the event returned to January.

When asked why he didn’t want to advocate for change from within, Thunberg replied that there are activists who have already done so.

“I think it should be people on the front lines, not privileged people like me,” he said. “I don’t think the changes we need are very likely to come from within. They are more likely to come from the bottom up.”

Activists then marched together through the snowy streets of Davos, where many shops were temporarily turned into “pavilions” supported by companies or countries.

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Written by Leela de Kretser; Edited by Alexander Smith

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