“I’m not going to COP27 for many reasons, but the space for civil society this year is extremely limited,” she said at her book launch in London’s Southbank Centre on 30 October. She critiqued the global summit as a platform for “greenwashing,” despite having attended 2021’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
“The COPs are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people to get attention,” she claimed, noting these summits are for “greenwashing, lying, and cheating” by high-profile, powerful individuals. Thunberg is not the only public figure to skip the summit hosted in Sharm el-Sheikh; UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also announced that he will not be attending the conference.
In addition to her climate concerns, Thunberg has slammed COP27 for being “held in a tourist paradise in a country that violates many basic human rights.”
Thunberg has, in the past, expressed concerns over Egypt’s political prisoners and scarce freedom of speech, signing a petition in late October which called upon Egyptian authorities to open up civic space and release what Thunberg has called “prisoners of conscience.”
The petition accumulated almost a thousand organisational and individual signatories including 350.org, Amnesty International, and Climate Action Network.
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