Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, whose weekly school strikes for the climate sparked a global youth movement, is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday to discuss ways to mitigate climate change.
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Thunberg, 17, is being joined by other members of Fridays for Future, including Luisa Neubauer, the 24-year-old face of the protest movement’s Germany branch.
Merkel is to host the activists at her chancellery for what her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, has described as an “informal exchange” on climate issues of national and global importance.
Germany currently holds the rotating EU presidency and has vowed to make climate policy a central focus of its tenure.
However, Thunberg and Neubauer slammed European leaders’ “political inaction” on the crisis, a day before the meeting, in an op-ed written for The Guardian newspaper together with two other activists.
Two years of school strikes had spurred political commitments and “big speeches” but “the climate and the ecological crisis has never once been treated as a crisis’’, they said.
“The gap between what we need to do and what’s actually being done is widening by the minute.’’
Activists are expected to hand Merkel an open letter signed by 125,000 people demanding tougher action from EU leaders, including a halt on fossil fuel investments and subsidies.