Greta Thunberg’s joy at being back at school but says Covid shows importance of listening to experts

Greta Thunberg says it is ‘great’ to be back at school after she spent gap year trying to save the world and believes Covid shows importance of listening to scientists

  • Teenager told BBC’s Today programme world needs to follow climate science
  •  Says coronavirus pandemic has ‘shone a light’ on need of listening to experts
  • Celebrated being back at school with picture shared on her Instagram 

Greta Thunberg is celebrating being back in school but accused nations of ignoring climate experts, despite the pandemic showing the importance of following science.

The 17-year-old from Sweden took a gap year from 2019 in a bid to force leaders from around the world to take action on climate change.

As her studies get back under way she told novelist Margaret Atwood during her guest editorship of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the coronavirus crisis has ‘shone a light’ on how ‘we cannot make it without science’.

Teenage climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg shared a picture of herself as she celebrated being back at school following her gap year 

The 17-year-old wished the world a happy Christmas in a social media post from Stockholm, Sweden

The 17-year-old wished the world a happy Christmas in a social media post from Stockholm, Sweden

And she accused the world of listening to ‘one type’ of scientist, and ignoring others warning of climate change.

Prince Charles: ‘Insanity’ to ignore exploitation of nature 

The Prince of Wales has described humanity’s exploitation of nature as ‘insanity’ and called on nations to listen to the ‘wisdom of indigenous communities’.

Also speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prince Charles said some people thought he was ‘completely dotty’ to speak out about environmental issues in 1970.

The 72-year-old said: ‘I’ve been talking to quite a lot of the First Nations leaders in Canada over the last year, and it’s high time we paid more attention to…the wisdom of indigenous communities. 

‘We can learn so much from them as to how we can re-right the balance and start to rediscover a sense of the sacred.

‘If we go on exploiting where we are, whatever we do to nature, however much pollution, we do to ourselves – it is insanity.’

When asked if the pandemic’s impact on people’s appreciation of science could have an effect on climate information the teenager said: ‘It could definitely have.

‘I think this pandemic has shone a light on how … we are depending on science and that we cannot make it without science.

‘But of course, we are only listening to one type of scientist, or some types of scientists, and, for example, we are not listening to climate scientists, we’re not listening to scientists who work on biodiversity.

‘That of course needs to change.’

Earlier she had shared a picture of herself on a bike with her school rucksack over her shoulder as she celebrated returning to education.

But the environmental campaigner expressed scepticism when questioned about nations’ pledges to reduce their carbon emissions, such as China which has committed to reach a net zero target by 2060.

She said: ‘That would be very nice if they actually meant something.

‘We can’t just keep talking about future, hypothetical, vague, distant dates and pledges. We need to do things now. And also net zero … that is a very big loophole, you can fit a lot in that word net.’

But she praised the election of Joe Biden as US president who has pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord on the first day of his presidency.

Ms Thurnberg added: ‘It could be a good start of something new.

‘Let’s hope that it is like that, and let’s push for it to become like that.’

Greta Thunberg started spreading her conservation message in solo protests in Sweden

Greta Thunberg started spreading her conservation message in solo protests in Sweden