Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges French lawmakers to act on scientific data

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg urged French lawmakers on Tuesday to act on a potentially irreversible "climate breakdown" due to mounting carbon emissions, in a parliament meeting shunned by right-wing politicians.

Thunberg, a 16-year-old who has inspired a global network of young climate protesters, was invited by a cross-party group of politicians to attend a French parliament committee meeting and will watch a plenary session from the public gallery on Tuesday.

During the session, she invoked a climate study that says the world has 420 gigatons of carbon credits remaining, to have a 67 percent chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees celsius temperature rise, that was agreed in the Paris climate accord.

Recent months have seen millions of young people world-wide walk out of school on Fridays to back Thunberg’s demands for urgent action from governments to curb carbon emissions.

Some conservative and far-right French lawmakers said they boycotted the meeting.

“We cannot have as an icon a young woman who has stopped going to school, who does not believe in science, who is more into emotions rather than solutions,” right-wing MP from Les Republicains party, Valerie Boyer, said.

Thunberg began a climate protest outside the Swedish parliament last August. The Fridays for Future school strike movement has since spread to more than 100 countries including France.

Green MPs as well as government ministers defended Thunberg and the fight against global warming, which the government has said will be a priority of the second part of Macron’s mandate.

(Production: Michaela Cabrera, Emilie Delwarde, Antony Paone)

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