Swedish teen climate-change activist appeals to Italian senate

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-19 00:31:11|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ROME, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Swedish teen climate-change activist Greta Thunberg brought climate change campaign to the Italian senate on Thursday, appealing to lawmakers for more awareness and immediate answers to this emergency.

After meeting with Italian senate's speaker Elisabetta Casellati in the morning, 16-year-old Thunberg took part in a conference on climate change in the upper house that was broadcast live.

Her remarks -- coming one day ahead of a rally on climate called by Italian pupils on Friday -- were not lenient with the responsibility of the current global leadership.

"You look at us (young climate activists), but you do not grasp what we are saying," Thunberg told the conference, which was open to public.

"You do not want to understand, you are not interested in what science says, but only in solutions that would allow you to carry on the same way as you have done so far," she added.

The Swedish student, who has become a strong source of inspiration for younger generations against climate change around the world, was praised by Italian officials for her commitment.

"We must listen to what Greta and other young climate activists say, because their efforts to bring environmental issues at the core of the global agenda are relevant," Casellati said at the end of the conference.

"They have woken up our conscience, recalling to us that every policy should be inspired by the idea of protecting our territories," the parliamentary leader added.

Addressing Italian lawmakers at the seminar, Thunberg stressed young people like her were taking to the streets in many countries to "reclaim our dreams and our hopes."

"I have been travelling a lot, and so many important people have congratulated me, but I do not really understand what they congratulate me for," the Swedish schoolchild said.

"Millions of students have gone on strike for climate, but nothing has changed so far, and emissions are continuing as mush as before."

"So why are all these people congratulating me? We did not take to the streets to have pictures of ourselves, but because we want you to act," said the young activist.

Thunberg urged politics at all levels to move to address climate change as a real emergency for humanity.

"This is the most difficult crisis we have ever had to face, and also the simplest one," she said.

"It is the simplest, because we do know what we have to do; and it is the most difficult, due to the economic aspects of the use of fossil fuels," said Thunberg.

After meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Wednesday, and with Italian politicians on Thursday, Greta Thunberg would continue her visit to Italy by joining a students' strike for climate action in the Italian capital on Friday.

Several groups of Italian pupils have in fact joined the "Fridays for Future" initiative, which is trying to create a global movement of young activists in defence of the planet.

According to the Friday for Future website, student protests staged on March 15 involved at least 1.6 million people across 125 countries and regions, and in over than 2,000 locations.

In Italy, so far about 100 local groups of school pupils in 70 Italian provinces have been in the movement, according to the Italian branch of the movement.