Amidst sub-zero temperatures, Greta Thunberg and approximately thirty other activists marched in protest at the conclusion of the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland. The demonstrators shouted “We demand climate justice without delay!” and “Fossil fuels must be eliminated!” as Thunberg held up a sign reading “Keep it in the ground”.
Just ahead of her journey back to Davos, Thunberg was apprehended by police in Germany for her part in a protest rallying against the enlargement of a coal mine. The 20-year-old Swedish activist has been steady in her opposition to all new oil, gas, and coal projects.
Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the Energy Agency, remarked that although investments in oil fields would not be able to lessen the energy crisis in the short-term, they would take years to be put into effect, but still the effects would unfortunately further exasperate the climate crisis. He commended Thunberg for her hard work and expressed his gratitude for being given the opportunity to converse with her and the activists.
During the protest in Davos, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda urged leaders to listen to science and discontinue investments in coal, oil, and gas. “The IEA has made it very clear we cannot have any new fossil fuel investments if we are to live with global temperatures below 1.5 degree Celsius,” she told the crowd.
Activists have accused the oil and gas industry of trying to dominate the conversation about climate change. Nonetheless, the industry maintains that its fuels are still essential to the energy transition and will remain an important element of the world’s low-carbon economy.