Climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in Madrid Friday to join thousands of other young people in a march to demand world leaders take real action against climate change.
The Spanish capital is hosting a two-week, United Nations-sponsored talks aimed at streamlining the rules on global carbon markets and agreeing on how poor countries should be compensated for destruction largely caused by emissions from rich nations.
The talks come as scientific evidence mounts about disasters that could ensue from further global warming, including a study commissioned by 14 seafaring nations due to be published Friday that predicts that unchecked climate change could devastate fishery industries and coral reef tourism.
That could cause hundreds of billions of dollars in losses by 2050, says the report, adding that limiting global warming would lessen the economic impact for coastal countries, but that they also need to adapt to ocean changes.
The presence in Madrid of Thunberg was expected to shift the attention to demands for greater action by non-governmental organizations and a whole new generation of environment-minded activists.
Past appearances by the 16-year-old have won her plaudits from some leaders — and criticism from others who’ve taken offense at the angry tone of her speeches.
An advocate for carbon-free transportation, Thunberg travelled by train overnight from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, where she arrived earlier this week after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from the United States by catamaran.