Greta Thunberg, teen climate activist, testifies before Congress
Published 3:09 PM EDT Sep 18, 2019
WASHINGTON – Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate change activist from Sweden who traveled to America on a boat to reduce emissions, has a simple message for Congress: Do something.
Thunberg is set to appear at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday before two House committees to discuss climate change and the next generation.
Instead of planning a lengthy opening statement to start the hearing, Thunberg simply offered a copy of the 2018 global warming report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists chosen by United Nations to help guide world leaders. The report emphasizes the dire threat that human-caused global warming poses, along with the climate and economic impacts.
“I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me,” Thunberg plans to tell lawmakers, according to a copy of her prepared remarks. “I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take action.”
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She will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy and the Environment and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis with three other younger climate activists, Jamie Margolin, Vic Barrett and Benji Backer.
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Thunberg’s visit to the U.S. doesn’t just include testifying before Congress. She also protested in front of the White House, appeared on Comedy Central’s Daily Show and met with former President Barack Obama, who called the teen “one of our planet’s greatest advocates.”
“Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action,” the former president wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
She is also set to speak at the U.N. Climate Change Summit later this month.
Last week, she led a rally outside the White House with dozens of others, chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, climate change has got to go.” The protesters, many of them young activists, held a variety of homemade signs, including “Make Earth cool again” and “Save the ice caps.”
“Never give up. We will continue,” she said amid loud cheers. “See you next week on Sept. 20!”
Thunberg is also behind a worldwide climate strike planned for Friday that encourages students to step out of class to protest. New York City Public Schools has said it will excuse absences for students joining the protest with parental consent.
In August, Thunberg captured global attention when she set off from Plymouth, United Kingdom, on a zero-emissions boat voyage across the Atlantic. Thirteen days later on Aug. 24, she arrived in New York City and went on to hold a protest outside the United Nations headquarters.
Contributing: Max Cohen