Greta Thunberg arrives in Portugal ahead of climate summit

Nellie Chapman
December 3, 2019

Greta Thunberg talks to reporters after her arrival to NY in August. They chanted: "What Do We Want?"

"Many people say that nothing will come out of the COP25".

"I think people are underestimating the force of angry kids".

Thunberg told dozens of reporters and activists under bright sunshine on a Lisbon quayside that she plans to keep pressing political leaders to make climate change their top priority.

Carolina Schmidt, environment minister of Chile, which is chairing the negotiations, said she hoped Thunberg's presence would galvanise more ambitious commitments by governments at talks aimed at bolstering the 2015 Paris Agreement to avert catastrophic temperature increases.

Thunberg, her father, and the crew aboard La Vagabonde sailed for 20 days from NY on a yacht that saved on carbon emissions and reduced their carbon footprint.

"We will not stop", she said, referring to herself and other climate activists who have been instrumental in organizing protests around the world to draw attention to the climate emergency.

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"To address the climate emergency, we need a rapid & deep change in how we do business, how we generate power, how we build cities, how we move and how we feed the world", said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN.

Some 20 activists cut off traffic in central Madrid and staged a brief theatrical performance to protest climate change.

Underscoring the pace of change, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) launched a report at the talks that found the past decade was nearly certain to have been the hottest on record.

The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday that preliminary temperature data show the years from 2015 to 2019 and from 2010 to 2019 "are, respectively, nearly certain to be the warmest five-year period and decade on record".

"Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than the last", the agency said.

While full-year figures are not released until March, 2019 is also expected to be the second or third warmest year since measurements began, with 2016 still holding the record, it said. "In contrast a large area of North America has been colder than the recent average", the United Nations said.

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