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Davos 2023: Greta Thunberg to meet IEA chief Birol

Davos 2023: Greta Thunberg to meet IEA chief Birol
Davos 2023: Greta Thunberg to meet IEA chief Birol Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
By Reuters
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By Maha El Dahan

DAVOS, Switzerland - Greta Thunberg is set to meet International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol in Davos on Thursday, organisers of a fringe round-table event at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting told Reuters.

The Swedish activist is due to meet Birol along with fellow campaigners Helena Gualinga, Vanessa Nakate and Luisa Neubauer, the organisers said in a statement.

The IEA, which makes policy recommendations on global energy, had no immediate comment.

Thunberg was released by police on Tuesday after being detained alongside other climate activists during protests in Germany.

"Yesterday I was part of a group that peacefully protested the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were kettled by police and then detained but were let go later that evening," she tweeted, adding: "Climate protection is not a crime."

Thunberg, whose current whereabouts are not clear, attended the WEF meeting in Davos in January 2020, when she challenged world leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, to act on climate change, saying that "our house is still on fire".

She has also participated in previous protests on the fringes of the gathering, which brings business and political leaders together in the Swiss ski resort for a dialogue on topical issues.

Climate change is one of the main items on the agenda for this year's meeting, which has already seen protests against the role of big oil firms, with activists saying they are hijacking the debate over how to address global warming.

Representatives of major energy firms including BP, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum Corp and Saudi Aramco are among 1,500 business leaders gathered there.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on the WEF attendees to make "credible", accountable net-zero pledges.

A social media campaign this week added to pressure on oil and gas companies, promoting a "cease and desist" notice sponsored by Thunberg, Nakate, Neubauer and Gualinga through the non-profit website Avaaz.

The call, which has garnered more than 850,000 signatures, demands that energy company CEOs "immediately stop opening any new oil, gas, or coal extraction sites, and stop blocking the clean energy transition we all so urgently need".

It threatens legal action and more protests if they fail to comply.

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