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'Don't listen to me, listen to the scientists,' Greta tells Congress

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Plea: Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin at the hearing yesterday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Plea: Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin at the hearing yesterday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Plea: Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin at the hearing yesterday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a short and direct message to the US Congress yesterday: "I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists."

The 16-year-old Swede, the founder of the 'Fridays For Future' school walkouts to demand action on climate change, submitted a 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in lieu of testimony to a joint hearing of House committees.

It calls for rapid changes to the way people live in order to keep temperatures from rising 1.5C by 2030.

"I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take action," Ms Thunberg said.

She was one of four students invited to address the hearing, to give the next generation's view on climate change.

She has been in Washington since last week to join US and indigenous activists to build up support for a global climate strike tomorrow and put pressure on lawmakers to take action on climate change.

On Tuesday, Ms Thunberg met Barack Obama. The former US president described the teenager on Twitter as "already one of the planet's greatest advocates".

Last night, she joined seven young Americans who have sued the US government for failing to take action on climate change on the steps of the Supreme Court. They urged political leaders and lawmakers to support their legal fight and take action.

At the hearing, Republican representatives praised the students for raising awareness but disagreed over what action the US should take.

Garret Graves, of Louisiana, criticised the Paris Climate Agreement for allowing countries such as China to continue to emit greenhouse gases.

"I think signing on to an agreement that allows China to have a 50pc increase in emissions annually by 2030 is inappropriate," he said.

Ms Thunberg said in response that in her home country, people criticised the United States for not taking enough action.

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Another activist who addressed the hearing, 17-year-old Jamie Margolin from Seattle, called out lawmakers for taking too long to enact climate change policies.

"The fact that you are staring at a panel of young people testifying before you today pleading for a livable earth should not fill you with pride; it should fill you with shame," she said.


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