Greta Thunberg called on the global energy industry to end all fossil fuel investments
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 -At a high-profile meeting with the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday, Greta Thunberg urged the global energy industry and its financiers to stop investing in fossil fuels.
Activists stated that they had sent CEOs a “cease and desist” letter during a roundtable discussion with Fatih Birol on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, urging them to halt new coal, oil, and gas extraction.
“As long as they can get away with it they will continue to invest in fossil fuels, they will continue to throw people under the bus,” Thunberg warned.
Activists have accused the oil and gas industry of hijacking the climate change debate in the Swiss ski resort. However, the industry has stated that it must participate in the energy transition because fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy mix as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.
Thunberg, who was detained earlier this week while participating in a demonstration at a coal mine in Germany, met with fellow activists Helena Gualinga from Ecuador, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, and Luisa Neubauer from Germany to discuss how to deal with the major issues with Birol.
Birol, whose organization makes energy policy recommendations, thanked the activists for meeting him. However, despite the fact that the global energy security crisis necessitates that the transition involve a variety of stakeholders, Birol insisted that it must.
The head of the IEA, who met with some of the biggest names in the oil and gas industry earlier on Thursday in Davos, said there was no reason to invest in new oil fields because of the lack of energy, and that the climate crisis would be worse by the time these were operational.
Additionally, he stated that he was less pessimistic about the transition to clean energy than the climate activists.
“We can have slight legitimate optimism,” he said, adding: “Last year the amount of renewables coming to the market was record high.”
However, he acknowledged that the transition was not progressing sufficiently quickly and warned that developing and emerging nations ran the risk of being left behind if advanced economies did not provide support for the process.