September 17, 2019 / 11:05 AM / a month ago

Teen climate activist to urge climate action on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Swedish teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg will join other youth leaders to urge U.S. lawmakers to support “transformative climate action” during two days of meetings and speeches on Capitol Hill, starting on Tuesday.

The events are intended to drum up support ahead of a global “climate strike” on Friday in which students and workers around the world will walk out to demand more action to fight global warming, and to heap pressure on leaders attending a United Nations climate summit in New York later this month.

Democratic Senator Ed Markey, chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force, will host a news conference kicking off the meetings with the activists on Tuesday morning, before including them at the task force’s weekly meeting.

Thunberg, who shot to international fame last year when she started skipping school every Friday to demonstrate outside Sweden’s parliament for action on climate change, will not speak at Tuesday’s press conference, a spokesperson said. Instead, she will make way for her American and Indigenous counterparts to talk.

In the United States, organizers of the Sept. 20 strike have put forward a list of eight demands on elected officials, including enacting a Green New Deal - an effort to transform the U.S. economy in a decade by shifting to 100% renewable energy.

Markey is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal congressional resolution with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the high-profile New York Democrat who plans to meet with the activists this week.

Thunberg was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year after the number of students taking part in her strikes - dubbed “Fridays for Future” - broke 2 million across 135 countries. She was named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine in May. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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