‘Blah, blah, blah’: Greta Thunberg says world leaders are all talk, no action

Activist Greta Thunberg criticises world leaders over their climate change promises, dismissing their statements as “blah, blah, blah”.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Greta Thunberg took to the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday to emphasise that our global leaders are all talk, no action regarding rising CO2 emissions.

Greta Thunberg Youth4Climate event
Image: Reuters

“Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah, blah, blah. Net-zero by 2050. Blah, blah blah,” said Thunberg.

“This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words. Words that sound great but so far [have] led to no action.”

According to the United Nations (UN), carbon emissions are on track to rise by 16 per cent by 2030, rather than fall by half – the cut needed to keep global warming under the internationally agreed limit of 1.5 degrees celsius.

“Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises,” said the activist.

In her speech, Thunberg quoted a statement by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described climate activism as bunny-hugging.

“This is not some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny-hugging.”

The Youth4Climate event was held two days before dozens of ministers convene in Milan for a final meeting ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

The youth activists at the event were asked to help develop solutions ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow.

“Young people need to start getting involved in the actual negotiations,” said a youth delegate from Uganda, Rose Kobusinge.

“We want 1.5 [degrees], and we won’t go beyond that.”

However, Greta Thunberg was far from impressed by the interest in young activists’ ideas:

“They invite cherry-picked young people to meetings like this to pretend that they listen to us. But they clearly don’t listen to us. Our emissions are still rising. The science doesn’t lie,” she said.

“We can no longer let the people in power decide what is politically possible. We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.”