Greta Thunberg and other youth climate activists have called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to review her government’s treatment of the fossil fuel industry and “abandon valid contracts and deals” whenever necessary to ensure compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement. Asked during a press conference following the meeting what kind of “system change” she and her fellow activists refer to when making the case for a more climate-friendly economy, Thunberg said reconsidering existing plans for fossil fuel production was key, as these would already far exceed the volumes allowed until 2030 in a Paris-compliant scenario, according to CLEW.
Together with fellow activists Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever and Adelaide Charlier, the 17-year old Swedish campaigner met Merkel for a 90-minute talk at her Berlin office to hand the chancellor an open letter signed by about 125,000 people, in which they especially call upon the European Union to step up its emissions reduction efforts and “treat the climate- and ecological emergency like an emergency.”
Thunberg said the activists were looking to find leaders who “prioritise the future over the past” and argued that the letter merely describes “the very minimum” of what needs to be done to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
German activist Luisa Neubauer described the meeting’s atmosphere as friendly and thanked Merkel for taking time to listen to the young campaigners, but added that “we need action more than nice words” to tackle the immense challenge ahead. “We ask for nothing more than implementing the Paris Agreement,” Neubauer said.