Climate activist Greta Thunberg is taking a break during a panel discussion on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg via Getty Images
LONDON – Adolescent climate activist Greta Thunberg has announced that she will not be attending the high-profile United Nations climate summit if current vaccination trends continue.
Thunberg tweeted Friday morning in response to a BBC report saying she had “no plans” to attend the summit known as COP26, due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
“Of course I would like to take part in COP26 in Glasgow. But not if not everyone can participate on the same terms,” tweeted Thunberg.
She argued that many countries are vaccinating “healthy young people” against Covid-19 at the expense of risk groups and frontline workers in other countries.
Thurberg said inequality was already at the heart of the climate crisis, adding that it would be “undemocratic” if people were not vaccinated and could travel to the summit to be equally represented.
“Vaccine nationalism will not solve the pandemic,” said Thunberg, arguing that “global problems need global solutions.”
High-income countries have been blamed for vaccine nationalism after purchasing more than 4.6 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in March, according to the Duke Global Health Innovation Center. In comparison, low-income countries received only 670 million doses of the vaccines.
Thunberg also said on her Twitter thread that even if the COP26 summit had to be postponed due to the pandemic, it “doesn’t mean we have to delay the urgent action needed to address climate change”.
Sky News reported last week that the summit could be postponed a second time due to the pandemic.
“We don’t have to wait for conferences or for anyone or anything to drastically reduce our emissions,” said Thunberg.
At the same time, the activist said that given the lack of high-speed Internet and computer access in certain parts of the world, a virtual conference was “far from optimal”, which would also limit equal representation at the summit.