Swedish teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg says President Biden isn’t doing enough to “treat the climate crisis like a crisis,” accusing him of being “not nearly enough in line with the science” on the issue.
The 18-year-old Thunberg — known for holding world leaders’ feet to the fire on their environmental policies — was asked during an appearance on MSNBC Sunday night to grade Biden, whom she endorsed, on how his administration is handling climate change.
“Well, you shouldn’t take that from me, I’m just a teenager, so I’m not — I don’t have the mandate to sort of give grades like that. My opinions on this doesn’t matter,” Thunberg began.
“You should rather look at the science and whether his policies are in line with the Paris agreements and to stay below 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius, and then you can clearly see that, no, it’s not nearly enough in line with the science. That’s not me saying, that’s just black and white, looking at the facts,” she continued.
Host Mehdi Hasan noted that Biden has rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, named a climate czar, and started to roll back some of former President Donald Trump’s environmental policies and then asked her what she would suggest Biden do.
“I would just like you to basically just treat the climate crisis like a crisis. They have said themselves that this is an existential threat,” she responded, adding that Biden isn’t handling it as such.
“They are just treating the climate crisis as it was a political topic, among other topics and, yeah, treat it as a crisis, that’s the No. 1 step,” she added.
Thunberg declined to name one thing she would suggest the president do to fight climate change, but said getting people involved is a top priority.
"So what we need now is to raise awareness and to create public opinion to treat the crisis like a crisis. Because if people are not aware of the crisis that we face, of course they wouldn’t put pressure on the elected leaders. So I would just tell him to, to tell the situation as it is,” she said.
Thunberg also said leaders who complain that they can’t do anything to change environmental policy because they lack support need to build a backing for what they want to accomplish.
“Well, how can you expect support and pressure from voters if you are not treating the crisis like a crisis. Since the climate crisis doesn’t exist, how can we expect people to want climate action,” she said.