‘A bit hypocritical’
Climate activist Greta Thunberg yesterday slammed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for using a jet during his hosting of the COP26 summit in Glasgow and called world leaders' behaviour "hypocritical".
Thunberg was holding her first School Strike for the Climate in Stockholm since the close of the Glasgow summit last weekend, which the 18-year-old Swede termed "a failure".
"Of course the climate crisis isn't caused by private jets but it is a bit hypocritical ... that world leaders (who) live very close by, for instance Boris Johnson, arrived in Glasgow by private jet while trying to solve the climate crisis," Thunberg told AFP.
"That doesn't send the right message," said the 18-year-old who travelled by train from Stockholm to the conference aimed at limiting global temperature rises to less than 1.5C.
Johnson flew in and out of the conference aboard a chartered Airbus plane.
He jetted in to the conference from Rome where he was attending a G20 meeting. Critics have noted that he also flew home to London, rather than take a four-and-a-half hour train ride from Glasgow.
Johnson later returned to the conference by train.
The summit wound up last week with nearly 200 nations signing a global deal to try to halt runaway global warming after two weeks of painful negotiations, but it fell short of what scientists say is needed to contain dangerous rises.
Among other things, India and China weakened the final summit decision text in the final straight, insisting language was changed from "phase out" coal to "phase down".
Thunberg has previously dismissed the climate conference deal as "blah, blah, blah".
"I think it's strange that some people are setting it up as a victory because what standards does that set for future COPs? How do we learn from this COP if we don't admit that it was actually a failure," she said.
"Instead of them returning with improved ambitions every five years they are going to do it every year... That doesn't really mean much unless that actually leads to anything."