"Giving Up Is Not an Option": Greta Thunberg on Tackling the Climate Crisis Amid a Pandemic

Less than a week into the new year, Greta Thunberg is here to remind us that the environmental threats to our planet did not disappear in 2020, and there is still plenty of work to be done in the ongoing fight against climate change. “We need to make sure that right now, we don’t relax and fall back asleep because we think, ‘Oh, the US is back in the Paris Agreement, now things will turn out okay.’ We need to continue pushing even harder now,” Thunberg told People in a recent interview, citing President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit the increase of greenhouse gas emissions to 1.5°C by 2025. Thunberg was vehement about the fact that hypothetical goals like this do not equate to action in the long run. To incite real change, we must make sustainable choices based on scientific data as the climate crisis develops.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change can take secondary prominence in most people’s minds, but Thunberg called on people worldwide to take what we’ve learned about dealing with crises amid the pandemic and apply that same urgency to saving the planet. “If there’s one thing that [the pandemic] has shown us, it is that we can treat a crisis like a crisis,” she said. “You can’t sit and be depressed or be annoyed at how the world is because you can’t do anything to change it. We have just continued like before. We just continue because we know what’s at stake, we know that we can’t give up. We know that giving up is not an option.”

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