Focus on climate crisis
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Reporting on climate change is one of the major journalistic challenges of our time. The climate crisis is also one of the most important issues of humanity for SPIEGEL. For this reason, we support an international initiative that seeks to take a look this week: "Covering Climate Now" has been initiated by the Columbia Journalism Review and the Canadian newspaper "The Nation", with more than 200 media companies worldwide including the Guardian, El País, La Repubblica, The Times of India, Bloomberg or Vanity Fair. SPIEGEL is dedicating the cover story of the current issue to the climate crisis this week and every day pays special attention to mirror.de
The moment lasted only a few seconds, but a video of it is currently causing a stir in social networks and in numerous media headlines: On the sidelines of the climate summit in New York Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump met.
The US president arrived unannounced for the climate summit in New York. As he was making his way to the UN General Assembly Hall, journalists intercepted him and interrogated him about a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Only a few meters away stood at this time, the 16-year-old climate activist. Trump took no notice of her. Thunberg looked after Trump with a serious expression.
The video of this brief moment and a matching gif of Thunberg's gaze is widely shared on social networks. "If a picture says more than 1000 words, then this gif says 100,000," commented the news site "Now This", for example. The New York Magazine joked: "Greta Thunberg accidentally contributes to global warming with her scorching eyes." And US MEP Sheila Jackson Lee shared a tweet saying, "We're all Greta Thunberg."
Video: When Greta Thunberg met Donald Trump
Andrew Hofstetter / REUTERS
Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about whether there is climate change at all and if so, whether it is caused by humans. The US - one of the largest polluters of greenhouse gases - has withdrawn Trump from the Paris international climate change agreement.
Thunberg, meanwhile, has been campaigning for more commitment to climate policy for months. She had already rejected a meeting with Trump in advance of her trip to the US - she did not want to waste her time with it. In New York Thunberg now accused the heads of state and government. "You stole my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," she said with tears in her eyes. "We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and the tales of lasting economic growth."
Around 60 heads of state and government will participate in the climate summit, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted a photo that shows Thunberg and Merkel how they met before the speeches began.
Meeting before the speeches @UN #ClimateActionSummit: Chancellor #Merkel meets @GretaThunberg pic.twitter.com/CzqEorBxim- Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) September 23, 2019
Thunberg and 15 other young people from different countries also filed a human rights complaint on climate change at the UN. Girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 17 sent their complaint to the UN Children's Rights Committee, Unicef said. They accuse the states, therefore, to do too little against climate change and thus violate the children's rights valid worldwide.