Activist Thunberg to Meet Energy Chief at Davos

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is set to meet International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol in Davos on Thursday, organizers of a fringe round-table event at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting told Reuters.

Thunberg is to meet Birol along with fellow campaigners Helena Gualinga, Vanessa Nakate and Luisa Neubauer, the organizers said in a statement.

The IEA, which makes policy recommendations on global energy, had no immediate comment.

Thunberg was released by police on Tuesday after being detained alongside other climate activists during protests in Germany.

“Yesterday I was part of a group that peacefully protested the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were kettled by police and then detained but were let go later that evening,” she tweeted, adding: “Climate protection is not a crime.”

‘We are not winning’

Former United States Vice President Al Gore said in Davos that he agreed with Thunberg’s efforts in Germany and that the climate crisis was getting worse faster than the world was tackling it.

“We are not winning. The crisis is still getting worse faster than we are deploying these solutions,” Gore told a WEF panel, highlighting a growing gap between those “old enough to be in positions in power and the young people of this world.”

Thunberg, whose current whereabouts are not clear, attended the WEF meeting in Davos in January 2020, when she challenged world leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, to act on climate change, saying that “our house is still on fire.”

She has also participated in previous protests on the fringes of the gathering, which brings business and political leaders together in the Swiss ski resort for a dialogue on topical issues.

Activists protest oil firms’ role

Climate change is one of the main items on the agenda for this year’s meeting, which has already seen protests against the role of big oil firms, with activists saying they are hijacking the debate over how to address global warming.

Representatives of major energy firms including BP, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum Corp., and Saudi Aramco are among 1,500 business leaders gathered there.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on the WEF attendees to make “credible,” accountable net-zero pledges.

A social media campaign this week added to pressure on oil and gas companies, promoting a “cease and desist” notice sponsored by Thunberg, Nakate, Neubauer and Gualinga through the non-profit website Avaaz.

The call, which has garnered more than 850,000 signatures, demands that energy company CEOs “immediately stop opening any new oil, gas, or coal extraction sites, and stop blocking the clean energy transition we all so urgently need.”

It threatens legal action and more protests if they fail to comply.

The oil and gas industry has said that it needs to be part of the energy transition as fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in the world’s energy mix as countries shift to low- economies.

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