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Sept. 20, 2019, 9:12 a.m. EDT

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg urges U.S. lawmakers to listen to scientists and ‘take real action'

16-year-old girl and other ‘Fridays For Future’ activists plan a global strike for this Friday to increase awareness of climate issues

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By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch


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The 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden attends a meeting Tuesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Greta Thunberg, a prominent 16-year-old activist from Sweden, didn’t provide the typical lengthy prepared remarks as she testified at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday.

She told U.S. lawmakers that she instead was giving them a copy of a 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that looks at the implications of global warming. Thunberg explained her move as follows:

‘I’m submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists, and I want you to unite behind the science, and then I want you to take real action.’

Greta Thunberg

Her remarks came during a joint hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis that featured several young activists and was titled “Voices Leading the Next Generation on the Global Climate Crisis.” She’s in Washington, D.C., after traveling last month by sailboat across the Atlantic rather than by airplane.

Read: ‘Flight shame’ by Greta Thunberg boosts carbon-offset programs

The testimony arrived just before a worldwide strike that Thunberg and other “Fridays For Future” activists planned for this Friday that aims to increase awareness of climate issues. Students in schools across the U.S. are taking part, and some employees from Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +0.60%  , Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +0.25%   /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +0.34% Google and Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT -1.14% are also participating .

Related: ‘I’m a conservative Republican. Climate change is real’: Rep. Rooney

And see: Half of polled Americans believe climate urgency is a ‘crisis’ or a ‘serious problem’ as 2020 election looms

On Tuesday, Thunberg spoke to the Senate’s climate change task force, telling that group to save its praise for young activists. “We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard,” she said. “I know you are trying but just not hard enough. Sorry.”

The teen also met with former President Barack Obama, whose tweet about the encounter went viral:

This report was first published on Sept. 18, 2019.

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Victor Reklaitis is MarketWatch's Money & Politics reporter and is based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek.

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