Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and three other teen activists had a 90-minute meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Thursday to press their demands for tougher action to curb climate change.
Along with Thunberg, the young activists included Luisa Neubauer of Germany and Belgians Anuna de Wever van der Heyden and Adélaïde Charlier. During their meeting they presented an open letter they wrote to world leaders last month.
The letter calls on leaders to immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction and establish annual, binding carbon budgets. It has since been signed by 125,000 people including NGOs, academics, intellectuals and artists.
Germany currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.
Merkel has in the past lauded the youth activists for putting pressure on politicians to act against global warming
Following the meeting, Thunberg told reporters she urged Merkel – and all leaders – to start treating the climate situation like a crisis, and get out of their “comfort zones and prioritize the future ahead of the now” and be brave enough to think long-term.
The coronavirus outbreak has prevented the Fridays for Future movement that Thunberg inspired from holding its mass rallies in recent months.
The young activist first came to world attention in 2018 when she started cutting classes on Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament for action on climate. She was soon joined in Sweden by other young activists, and her message quickly spread around the world, prompting young people to follow her example.