“Blah, blah, blah…” pooh-poohed environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg after a global agreement was reached at the United Nations-hosted climate talks in Scotland’s Glasgow.
At the end of the COP26 climate summit, as nations called for a “phase down” of coal power that critics describe as a “compromise” in way of attempts to cut down on fossil fuel, Thunberg said the real work continued outside these halls and activists like her would never give up.
Taking to her official handle on Twitter, Thunberg wrote, “The #COP26 is over. Here’s a brief summary: Blah, blah, blah. But the real work continues outside these halls. And we will never give up, ever.”
The youth campaigner also retweeted an earlier post of hers, where she had indicated that such ‘compromises’ in the way of climate action are equivalent to losing. “Unless we achieve immediate, drastic, unprecedented, annual emission cuts at the source then that means we’re failing when it comes to this climate crisis,” she had written, adding “small steps in the right direction, “making some progress” or “winning slowly” equals losing”.
The climate talks in Scotland are, however, being lauded for keeping alive hopes of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius and maintaining a realistic shot at saving the world from catastrophic climate change.
Although the two-week conference in Glasgow was the 26th of its kind, it was the first to call for a reduction in fossil fuels that not only power much of the world’s economy but are also the main causes of manmade global warming.
However, there was some last-minute drama as India, backed by China and a few other coal-dependent developing nations, raised objections to this part of the agreement and asked for the wording to be rewritten. The clause was hurriedly amended to ask countries to accelerate their efforts towards a coal power “phase down” instead of “phase out”.
Union environment and climate minister Bhupender Yadav later told Reuters, was done to reflect the “national circumstances of emerging economies”. He also expressed his apprehension over the fact that coal had been “singled out” during the COP26 talks, while there was no similar call to phase out oil or natural gas, even though rich, developed nations have historically emitted the largest share of greenhouse gases.
Thunberg and other activists had earlier denounced the conference for the way it was playing out, arguing that world leaders had failed to match their words with real action. Thunberg said that pledges from some nations made during COP26 to accelerate their emissions cuts amounted to little more than “a two-week-long celebration of business as usual” and “blah, blah, blah”.