Greta Thunberg dismisses carbon capture as sole answer to climate crisis

21 Jan 2020

Greta Thunberg on stage the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. Image: World Economic Forum/Sandra Blase

Speaking as part of a panel at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Greta Thunberg warned that ‘nothing has been done’ to reverse the climate crisis.

Prior to US president Donald Trump’s keynote at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland today (21 January), climate activist Greta Thunberg said that those with the ability to significantly reduce carbon emissions are unfairly putting the onus on future generations.

Thunberg was part of a panel of young climate activists including Salvador Gómez-Colón, Natasha Mwansa and Autumn Peltier, moderated by Time magazine’s Edward Felsenthal.

Future Human

Among the points the Swedish activist raised was that at the time of the IPCC report published in 2018, it was estimated we had a 67pc chance of keeping the average global temperature increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius if we only emit 420 gigatons of CO2. However, this has now dropped to 340 gigatons, with our allowance likely to be exceeded within eight years if emissions continue unabated.

“Most models assume that future generations will somehow be able to suck hundreds of billions of CO2 out of the air with technologies that do not exist today in the scale that is required, and perhaps never will,” Thunberg said.

‘I know you don’t want to report about this’

She also went on to criticise the media for not focusing on the scientific data produced by the authors of the IPCC report, noting that she has repeated the same numbers since 2018 “over and over again”.

Thunberg added that the 67pc figure cited by the IPCC report did not include issues such as feedback loops or tipping points that might make attempts to reverse the climate crisis even more difficult.

“But honestly, I don’t think I have once seen any media outlet or person in power communicate this and say what it means,” she said.

“I know you don’t want to report about this, I know you don’t want to talk about this, but I assure you I will continue to repeat these numbers until you do.”

In a closing statement, fellow panellist Peltier – a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation and advocate for global access to clean water – said the fact that she and the other young panel members even had to be the ones to highlight the major climate crisis concerns was “wrong”.

“If you have an idea or solution or a way you can help us, just do it,” she said.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic