US tells Thunberg to ‘study economics’ in Davos climate spat
The United States’ financial chief on Thursday told Swedish teen Greta Thunberg to go study before calling for a fossil fuel halt, prompting the climate campaigner to reply it doesn’t “take a degree” to understand the science.
The spat between US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Thunberg again highlighted the tensions over climate change at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where governments have come under pressure to act on global warming as well as talk about the issue.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reaffirmed his dire warnings about the risks of climate change, telling business leaders that the world was losing the war against global warming and urging rapid action to prevent humanity being “doomed”.
Mnuchin had earlier advised Thunberg, who has been bitterly critical of US policy during her stay at Davos, to study economics before giving out lessons.
Asked about the 17-year-old’s demand for an immediate halt to investment in fossil fuels, he told reporters: “After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.”
But in a thread of tweets, Thunberg dismissed Mnuchin’s comments in a typically withering response.
“My gap year ends in August, but it doesn’t take a college degree in economics to realise that our remaining 1.5 degrees carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up,” she wrote.
“So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments,” she added.
– ‘Not winning this war’ –
Guterres lamented the “lack of political will” to reach targets on climate change and urged a “meaningful shift of assets” from investments in polluting substances into the green economy.
“The planet will not be destroyed. What will be destroyed is our capacity to live in this planet,” he said.
“We need to act in order to make sure we are not doomed,” he said. “It is essential to recognise that climate change is an existential threat to us all.
“We are not winning this war and we absolutely must do it,” he said…….read more