“Nature does not bargain” – Thunberg to MEPs

Greta Thunberg
FILE PHOTO: Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a demonstration of the Fridays for Future movement in Lausanne, Switzerland January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

On Wednesday, climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke at a meeting in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.

The Swedish activist spoke about the European Climate Law and emphasised that the EU “must lead the way” and that it is under “moral obligation to do so”. Addressing MEPs, she insisted: “In November 2019, you said that climate change was an existential threat. Now you must prove that you mean it.” She described the new proposal for a climate law published on Wednesday by the European Commission as “a surrender”. “Nature does not bargain, and you cannot make deals with physics. We will not allow you to surrender our future”, she concluded.

In the meantime MEPs highlighted the challenge of bringing other continents on board to raise climate ambition before the Glasgow climate conference to take place in November. The necessity of the EU to raise its own emission reduction goals was agreed upon by most MEPs. Still, there were several MEPs who said that raising the EU’s 2030 goals from 40% to 55%, as proposed by the European Parliament, would already be ambitious, but is met with much resistance from member states.

Following the meeting, the Chair of the Committee Pascal Canfin (Renew, FR) forcefully said: “Today we hosted Greta Thunberg. To win the battle against climate change, we need the energy of youth. Here in Parliament, and notably in the Environment Committee, we are fighting for climate neutrality in 2050. The climate law that was presented today cannot deceive young Europeans who are mobilised for the climate and all European citizens, and we must therefore succeed.”

Greta Thunberg met with EP president David Sassoli before the meeting at 12:30.

A video of the opening statement of Greta Thunberg is available here.