German Chancellor Angela Merkel met on Thursday with several leading figures from the youth climate movement, including Greta Thunberg and Belgian Anuna De Wever and Adélaïde Charlier.
The meeting took place exactly two years since Greta Thunberg brought her sign outside the Swedish parliament to school strike for climate. Thunberg says that she regrets that “the world is still in denial of the climate crisis.”
Thursday’s meeting with Angela Merkel followed an open letter signed by some 120,000 people in July. Written by Greta Thunberg, Anuna De Wever, Adélaïde Charlier and German Luisa Neubauer, they call for European heads of states to show courage and “treat climate change as a crisis.”
The German Chancellor, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, is one of the few politicians, along with the incoming European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, to have reacted to the letter.
The climate activists hope that the German leader will be able to use her influence to bring the climate change crisis further on the agenda in political corridors.
“During an hour and a half of discussions, we did not make a lot of promises but Merkel assured us that she would not ratify the free trade agreement between the EU and the four countries making up the Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) in its current state,” Adélaïde Charlier commented.
The youth climate leaders also called for an end to investments in fossil fuels and to commit to reach the annual targets set for reducing CO2 emissions based on scientific information.
“Some subjects were more difficult than others,” Charlier admitted.