Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg has mocked President Joe Biden for his promises to tackle climate change through his ‘Build Back Better’ plan.
At a climate summit in Berlin on Friday, she held the US president accountable for comments he made during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week.
“Now that we are coming out of the pandemic, many are talking about using this as an opportunity for a green sustainable recovery, whatever that means,” said 18-year-old Thunberg.
“World leaders are talking about ‘better rebuilding’, promising green investments and setting vague and distant climate targets to say they are taking climate action,” she added.
“When you look at what we’re investing the money in — the money that should be built up better — it shows the hypocrisy of our leaders,” Thunberg said.
“We can turn this around,” she said, cheering. “We demand change, and we are the change.”
At a climate summit in Berlin on Friday, Greta Thunberg held the US president accountable for comments he made earlier this week during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
Biden has pledged to work with Congress to double funds to $11.4 billion a year by 2024 to help developing countries deal with climate change
On Tuesday, Biden said the United States would double its financial contributions to help developing countries fight and adapt to climate change.
He explained that the “Build Back Better” agenda includes initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US and that he had the potential to include “sustainable investment in projects” abroad. “That’s the idea behind the Build Back Better World,” Biden noted.
Biden pledged to work with Congress to double the funds to $11.4 billion a year by 2024 to help developing countries deal with climate change.
The funding would help achieve a global goal of $100 billion a year to support climate action in vulnerable countries by 2030, set more than a decade ago.
“The best part is that making these ambitious investments is not just good climate policy, it’s an opportunity for each of our countries to invest in ourselves and our own future,” Biden said at the annual meeting of world leaders.
But Thunberg seemed unconvinced by Biden’s promise.
“The fact that we’re in a crisis that we can’t build, buy or invest or we can’t get out of seems to create a kind of collective mental short circuit among those in power,” Thunberg said. And the longer they pretend we can solve the climate crisis within the current system, the more precious time we lose.
“It’s been a very strange year and a half with this pandemic. But of course the climate crisis has not gone away’, she continues.
“It’s the opposite — it’s even more urgent now than before.”
In Berlin, participants marched through the government district of the German capital during a climate protection demonstration
More than 100,000 people attended the ‘Fridays for Future’ protest in Berlin, Germany
“It’s pretty easy to see why the world’s biggest CO2 emitters and the biggest fossil fuel producers want to make it seem like they’re taking enough climate action with fancy speeches. Whether they get away with it is another matter,” she wrote on Twitter.
The International Energy Agency, which works with countries around the world to shape energy policies, says only 2 percent of government recovery spending is allocated to clean energy.
The money falls well short of what is needed to meet international climate targets, including net-zero emissions by 2050 or the goal of preventing global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
An analysis by the World Resources Institute shows that even if the US increases its climate aid pledge to $11.4 billion by 2024, it will pale in comparison to the $24.5 billion the EU spent on climate aid in 2019.
Activists gather for a Fridays for Future global climate strike in front of the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin, Germany
The United Nations said last week that countries’ commitments would lead to global emissions being 16% higher by 2030 than in 2010 – a long way from the 45% reduction by 2030 needed to limit warming to 1.5. degree Celsius.
Biden’s pledge comes less than six weeks before the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Core elements of his climate change agenda remain tied to the fate of infrastructure and budget legislation that is under intense negotiation in Congress, raising the risk of him arriving at the summit empty-handed.
World leaders, including Biden, are expected to be in attendance to craft a solid plan to combat climate change.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joins a Fridays for Future global climate strike in Berlin
People protest for the climate during a climate strike in Germany on Friday