Greta Thunberg condemns the “empty words” of world leaders

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has shared a video message about the “distant, hypothetical targets being set” on the climate crisis and “empty words” being used by governments.

It’s been five years since the Paris Agreement, a deal signed by 196 countries on 12 December 2015, Ms Thunberg says “the action needed is still nowhere in sight”.

The 17-year-old activist took to social media to reach out to her 10.5 million followers in a video, urging them to #FightFor1point5.

This is a reference to the ambition set out in the Paris accord to halt the average rise in world temperatures to 1.5C more than pre-industrial levels.

The 17 year old warned that in spite of this, at the rate we are heading, “our remaining CO2 budget of 1.5 degrees will be gone within seven years”.

The five years since the Paris accord have been the five hottest years ever recorded and, in her video, Ms Thunberg urged people to take action, and stop “living as if there was no tomorrow”.

The UN’s Environment Programme found in its annual assessment that the 7 per cent fall in carbon pollution recorded in 2020 would have a “negligible impact” on global warming generally. They warned that countries need to undertake a rapid shift away from using fossil fuels.

The 27 EU member states agreed on Friday to increase their 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to at least 55 per cent of levels recorded in 1990. This is compared to the current pledge of 40 per cent.