Greta Thunberg Says Scotland Is Not A World Leader On Climate Change Just Before COP26

Ahead of the COP26 (Monday, November 1st, 2021- Friday, November 12, 2021) BBC interviewed climate activist Greta Thunberg about the upcoming climate change conference which will take place in Glasgow. BBC asked the young environmental activist if she thinks that the conference should take place virtually online or in person; to which she responded that “we get more results when we meet in person… but if its not considered safe, then we have to go for the safest option”. The safest option is of course to refrain from in person contact to limit the spread of COVID-19 cases across populations. Thunberg admits that she is not certain that she will attend COP26 next month, and that her decision hinges on whether or not the event is “safe and democratic”. This likely means that she she wants assurance that participants are fully vaccinated.

Greta Thunberg BBC interview screenshot

World Leaders On Climate Change

BBC then asks Greta Thunberg if Scotland a world leader with respect to climate change progress. In reply, Thunberg essentially says that some countries that have better environmental practices than others, but broadly speaking, there are no countries in the global North who are doing what is needed. Most developed nations have the physical evidence necessary for destabilization climate due to global warming. However, greenhouse gas proliferation is not being sufficiently decreased to meet the recommendations of the Paris Agreement.

In other words, current rates of greenhouse gas emissions are not compatible with limiting global temperature increases at or below 2 degree Celsius (compared to that of preindustrial levels). Thunberg’s comments almost directly counter public statements made by Scottish government, which described its net zero emissions targets as “world leading”. The Scottish government is aiming to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2045, which at least trumps the United States’ target of reaching net zero by 2050. Thunberg concedes that “of course there might be some politicians that are slightly less worse than others…”. In other words, not all policy makers and world leaders are equally yoked on climate progress. Also, progressive goals do not always translate into progressive action. As international parties prepare for COP26 in the coming months, meaningful changes must be implemented in order to secure a more sustainable future.

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