Greta Thunberg makes Cop26 attendance U-turn

Teenage activist plans to go to the climate conference after the UK offered to vaccinate all delegates against Covid-19

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on September 23, 2019, youth climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. - Sitting on cold stone in front of the Stockholm Parliament: an anonymous teenager until a year ago, Greta Thunberg became the environmental conscience of the world and the voice of a generation exasperated by the inaction of its leaders. It all began in August 2018 when the 16-year-old Swede began the "school climate strike". Armed with a cardboard sign, she quickly attracted the attention of the Swedish and then international media, and in a few months the girl with Asperger's syndrome became the pasionaria of the blue planet. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg plans to travel to Scotland in November to attend Cop26, hours after the UN published a report that emphasised the dire effects of climate change.

Ms Thunberg previously said she would not travel to the UN climate conference over concerns that the uneven distribution of Covid-19 vaccines would mean countries could not participate on even terms.

The UK's offer in June to vaccinate delegates against the disease appears to have prompted a change of heart.

"I've said before that I wasn't going to go if it wasn't fair,” Ms Thunberg, 18, told Reuters.

“But now [the UK] says that they will vaccinate all the delegates that are going there. If that's considered fair and safe, then I will hopefully attend."

The Swedish activist, who has rallied youths to demand climate action worldwide, said the UN report should be “a wake-up call, in every possible way”.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the target of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels could be breached in the 2030s.

Even if 1.5°C is met, there would still be an increase in the intensity and seriousness of heatwaves, storms, droughts and floods.

"When these extreme weather events are happening, many say, what will it take for people in power to start acting? What are they waiting for?” Ms Thunberg asked.

“And it will take many things but, especially, it will take massive pressure from the public and massive pressure from the media."

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Updated: August 9th 2021, 1:48 PM
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