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New EU climate law is 'surrender', says Greta

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 4, 2020 - Duration: 01:56s

New EU climate law is 'surrender', says Greta

EU leaders unveiled their new environment plan while Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was in town - but if they were hoping to impress her, they failed.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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New EU climate law is 'surrender', says Greta

If EU leaders wanted to impress Greta Thunberg by unveiling their new climate law in front of her, it didn't work.

She savaged it, in a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday (March 4).

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "This climate law is surrender because nature doesn't bargain and you cannot make deals with physics." The 17-year-old Swedish activist - seen here in Bristol, England, last Friday - accused EU governments and institutions of only pretending to tackle the climate crisis.

EU leaders say they're spearheading some of the most ambitious climate policies in the world.

This latest law reduces net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

It would give the EU executive powers to set tougher goals for governments every five years - but those powers only kick in after 2030.

Too late, according to environment groups.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "When your house in on fire, you don't wait a few more years to start putting it out and yet this is what the (European) Commission are proposing today.

When the EU presents this climate law and net zero by 2050, you indirectly admit surrender, that you are giving up, giving up on the Paris agreement, giving up on your promises and giving up on doing everything you possibly can to ensure a safe future for your own children." The EU accounts for less than 10 percent of world greenhouse-gas emissions, but Thunberg said developed countries who'd been polluting longest had a moral obligation to lead the way and cut carbon first and fastest.

She'll lead a school strike for the climate in Brussels on Friday (March 6).

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