Climate activist Greta Thunberg tells Congress ‘subsidizing fossil fuel’ companies is a ‘disgrace’

greta thunberg
Greta Thunberg speaks at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, New York on September 23, 2019.

  • Greta Thunberg said subsidizing the fossil fuel industry is a “disgrace” during a congressional hearing.
  • President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan includes a detail aimed at rolling back US financial support of fossil fuels.
  • The Swedish climate activist said ending fossil fuel subsidies is the “very minimum” the US can do to combat the climate crisis.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg called subsidies for fossil fuel companies a “disgrace” during a congressional hearing on Thursday.

The 18-year-old climate activist testified before a House oversight committee on Earth Day to discuss the impact of the fossil fuel industry on the environment, saying that subsidizing fossil fuels is “clear proof that we have not understood the climate emergency at all.”

“It is the year 2021, the fact we are still having this discussion and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels using taxpayer money is a disgrace,” she said.

Thunberg’s advocacy to address the climate crisis sparked a global movement, inspiring millions of people – including students who walked out of school – to protest and demand action on combatting climate change.

President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion vast infrastructure plan includes a detail aimed at rolling back US financial support of fossil fuels, which would bring in $35 billion to the federal government over a decade, The Guardian reported.

During the congressional hearing, Thunberg said putting an end to subsidizing fossil fuel companies is the “very minimum” the US should do in an effort to combat the climate crisis, otherwise lawmakers would have to “explain to your children why you are surrendering on the 1.5 C target, giving up without even trying.”

“Unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight,” she said. “How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it? How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis without being held accountable?”

“Young people today will decide how you will be remembered, so my advice for you is to choose wisely,” Thunberg added.

Rep. Ralph Norman, a Republican from South Carolina on the committee, said “the left has resorted to fear tactics on climate change.”

Thunberg replied saying she does not want people to panic but instead, she wants people to “get out of their comfort zones” when it comes to the climate crisis.

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