Climate activist Greta Thunberg has told the world's political and business leaders that the global movement sparked by her school strike was only the very beginning in the fight against climate change and much more has to be done.
The Swedish teenager was speaking at a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday with other young activists.
She said all the young people pushing for action have made people more aware of the issues, and climate and environment are now a “hot topic.” But, she said more has to be done and she continued her message of telling leaders they need to listen to what scientists are saying.
“Without treating it as a real crisis we cannot solve it," Thunberg said.
NASA and NOAA both announced last week that the 2010s was the hottest decade in recorded history. Scientists point to man-made climate change as the driver and said they see no signs of it stopping in the next decade. According to NOAA, average annual global temperatures have increased from 56.73 degrees Fahrenheit in 1999 to 58.71 degrees in 2019.
President Donald Trump, who is is also attending the forum in Davos, has called climate change a "hoax" and has begun the steps to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement the day after the presidential election.
Thunberg and Trump crossed paths at the United Nations in New York last September but didn't speak. In a recent interview, Thunberg was asked what she would have said to Trump had they met face-to-face.
“Honestly, I don’t think I would have said anything. Because obviously he’s not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me?” Thunberg told BBC Radio 4.
Thunberg was named TIME Magazine's Person of the Year in 2019 for her efforts at rallying the world's youth to push leaders to take immediate steps to stop climate change before the effects become irreversible.
A survey of CEOs released before the forum shows that they do not put climate issues among the top ten threats to business growth. Financial services company PwC said climate change and environmental issues are ranked as the 11th biggest threat to growth. According to the survey, 24% of CEOs are “extremely concerned” about climate-related issues, but many more of the are worried about over-regulation.
However, the world's largest investment manager, BlackRock, announced last week it would make a series of moves putting climate change and sustainability at the center of its investing approach.