Greta Thunberg ‘drove us’ to move on climate change: Merkel | 2019-07-20

Greta Thunberg ‘drove us’ to move on climate change: Merkel

20 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Greta Thunberg ‘drove us’ to move on climate change: Merkel

A protester holds up a sign reading “Greta eats/ is vegan- and you?” during a “Fridays for Future” demonstration in Berlin to protest for climate action in Berlin, on Friday. Launched by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, “Fridays for Future” has seen pupils “strike” against school teaching each Friday for months across Europe. —AFP PHOTO

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded Friday that her government was driven to act faster on climate change by young activists like teenaged Greta Thunberg, who was speaking at rally in Berlin the same day, reports AFP.

“They certainly drove us to speed up” efforts to change policy, said Merkel at a press conference while nearby in the German capital the 16-year-old Swedish activist addressed the latest “Fridays for Future” rally. “The seriousness with which Greta, but also many, many other young people, are telling us that this is about their lives, and that their life spans extend further, has led us to approach the matter more resolutely,” said Merkel.

She said that her cabinet planned to decide on key steps for a new climate law, including a likely carbon pricing mechanism, at a September 20 meeting.

Thunberg, meanwhile, addressing student activists who have regularly skipped school to protest, made another passionate appeal to their elders to urgently act on climate change.

“We need to make sure that people save the world and save humankind,” she said about global warming which is melting ice caps and glaciers, raising ocean levels and exacerbating extreme weather events.

“This situation is so strange—that the adults do not dare to take responsibility, that it is the young people and children who need to take responsibility, that young people need to sacrifice their education in order to protect their future.”