Tuesday 12 November 2019

'Greta Thunberg is small, she's tiny, but her voice is strong' - Mary Robinson backs climate activist teen

Mary Robinson Picture: Steve Humphreys
Mary Robinson Picture: Steve Humphreys

Allison Bray

Former president Mary Robinson is urging everyone to do their bit to tackle climate change as she backed climate activist Greta Thunberg as a young girl with a 'strong voice'.

The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ireland's first female president said it is the responsibility of everyone to take steps now to reduce their carbon emissions and other contributors to what she called 'the climate emergency' currently facing the globe.

"Everyone now needs to make the climate crisis -or emergency - to take it personally in their lives," she said.

"The second step is to get angry and get active," she said of lobbying government, business and others in power to stop talking about climate change and actually do something about it.

Teen activist Greta Thunberg. Picture: Getty
Teen activist Greta Thunberg. Picture: Getty

"We have to wake up and get very smart," she said.

Speaking as the guest of honour at the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Free Legal Advice Centre tonight, she spoke of her commitment to climate justice and reiterated her support for Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg, whom she said moved her to tears.

"Greta is small, she is tiny but her voice is strong and she said ' you have stolen my childhood and then she said ' you are continuing with business as usual. How dare you?' I was crying."

"How can you have a child like this talking to the adult world of governments about what they need to do?"

Dr Robinson, who is now the chair for The Elders, a global peace and human rights organisation founded by Nelson Mandela, said the growing body of scientific evidence on the impact of climate change that is already occurring can no longer be ignored.

"The science has kicked in,'" she said.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News