Adults aren't doing much | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, February 24, 2019

Adults aren't doing much

Teenage climate activist's class-boycott campaign causes stir

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg brought her class-boycott campaign to Paris, hoping to encourage more French students to hit the streets with demands for bold efforts to combat global warming.

The Friday protests that the 16-year-old Swede launched in August have gained little traction so far in France, where the landmark COP21 international accord on cutting emissions was signed in 2015.

After urging the EU in Brussels to move more aggressively on greenhouse gas cuts on Thursday, Thunberg then travelled to Paris where she met up with young activists from France, Belgium and Germany for a march which was also joined by French actress Juliette Binoche.

A crowd of around 1,000 people took part in the protest in central Paris, one of dozens planned in cities across Europe as part of her "Fridays For Future" movement.

But outside Paris, only two other class-cutting marches have been organised -- one in Beauvais just north of Paris and one in the southwestern city of Dax.

Under the 2015 Paris deal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the 28-nation EU has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990.

But Thunberg told an EU conference Thursday that the goal was woefully inadequate, saying an 80 percent reduction was necessary to meet the 2030 goal.

"If you think we should be in school instead, we suggest that you take our place in the streets, striking from your work," she said.

Thunberg's determined campaign to hold adults accountable for looming climate change consequences has gained global resonance since she began skipping class for weekly Friday protests in Stockholm six months ago.

She made global headlines in December with a strong-willed speech at a UN climate meeting in Poland, and last month took her message to the top corporate echelons at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In the last six months, tens of thousands of high school students -- in Sydney, Brussels, Berlin, The Hague, London and other cities -- have followed her lead.

But despite the enthusiastic reception, Thunberg said she had received little indication on Thursday that EU leaders were ready to heed her call for faster action.

"I didn't hear any concrete promise by political leaders and officials; they only say that they are going to try their best," she said.

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