Greta Thunberg mocks greenwashing with pledge to go ‘net-zero on swear words’

Campaigner pledges in say something nice ‘in the event that I should say something inappropriate’

Holly Bancroft
Wednesday 03 November 2021 16:43
Cop26: Swearing Greta Thunberg is cheered by protesters in Glasgow park
Leer en Español

Greta Thunberg has pledged to go “net-zero on swear words” in a jibe at carbon offsetting.

The 18-year-old campaigner said that “in the event that I should say something inappropriate I pledge to compensate that by saying something nice”

Her joke came after the environmental campaigner was filmed leading crowds in a rude chant outside Cop26 in Glasgow.

Footage showed Ms Thunberg and the crowd singing “you can shove your climate crisis up your arse” on Monday.

And she told them: “Inside COP there are politicians pretending to take our future seriously.

“We say no more blah-blah-blah, no more exploitation of people, nature and the planet. No more whatever the f*** they’re doing inside there.”

Her comments were depicted as “foul-mouthed tirade” in some media outlets.

Responding to the clip on Twitter on Wednesday, Ms Thunberg wrote: “I am pleased to announce that I’ve decided to go net-zero on swear words and bad language. In the event that I should say something inappropriate I pledge to compensate that by saying something nice. #Cop26.”

When asked if she would “commit to reaching net-zero bad language by 2050”, Greta Thunberg replied: “No, by 2052 with a 39.78 per cent reduction by 2034.”

She was poking fun at companies and individuals who say they are being environmentally friendly because they offset the carbon they are emitting.

Carbon offsetting is often used by people who fly and who try to “cancel out” their aviation emissions by supporting a green initiative somewhere else in the world, such as tree-planting programmes.

These schemes have been criticised by green groups as a “get out of jail free” card that allow people to do nothing to reduce their emissions.

Campaigners have also expressed concerns that carbon offsetting ventures do not deliver on what they promised.

World leaders have faced criticism over the past few days over the number of people who travelled to the climate summit in private jets.

FlightRadar24, which tracks flights, analysed the number of non-commercial flights into Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh airports since 27 October.

It found that there were around 182 of these flights, double the total for the previous six days.

Aviation analytics company Cirium also told the BBC that there were a total of 76 flights involving private jets or VIP flights arriving to Glasgow or nearby in the four days leading up to Cop26.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in