Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was one of the experts who testified on Thursday, April 22 to a U.S. congressional hearing on how fossil fuel subsidies are preventing action on climate change. The environment subcommittee chaired by Democrat Representative Ro Khanna aims with this discussion to highlight the health and economic impacts of these subsidies and how federal subsidies, in particular, for the fossil fuel industry disproportionately affect already vulnerable communities.
In her opening remarks, Thunberg stresses that she is not a scientist and that climate science is clear in how humanity has to drastically reduce its carbon dioxide emission to avoid the worst of the climate catastrophe.
“I don’t represent any financial or political system. I’m not a lobbyist, so I can’t negotiate, make deals, or compromise. I have nothing to offer you. Nor am I a scientist. All I can do is to urge you to listen and to act on the science and to use your common sense,” Thunberg said in her opening statement.
“It is the year 2021. The fact that we are still having this discussion and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly using taxpayer money is a disgrace!”
The Biden-Harris Administration run on a platform of ending fossil fuel subsidies. The US government has brought the country back into the Paris Climate Agreement and President Biden has pledged to significantly reduce the US emission of carbon dioxide by 2030. But more is needed.
"We appreciate that President Biden ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. But the details matter," Representative Khanna said in a statement released prior to the hearing and reported by Reuters. "Exactly four months into this administration, progressives are looking for tangible and specific commitments from the administration to follow through on its own platform."