LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Britain sweltered in record heat on Thursday, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg released a track with one of the country’s biggest bands calling for “civil disobedience” in response to climate change.
“We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed... It is time to rebel,” Thunberg says over ambient orchestral music on the track, recorded for The 1975’s latest album.
Thunberg, 16, has become one of the leading voices in the climate debate and the essay she recorded for the album has a direct message.
“The main solution is so simple that even a small child can understand it,” she says. “We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gasses.”
Her latest intervention came as Britain experienced its highest ever July temperatures, with meteorologists saying there was a 40% chance that the all-time record of 38.5 degrees Celsius (101.3°F), set in 2003, would be broken.
Climate specialists warned that such heatwaves were becoming more frequent as a result of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions.
The greenhouse gas equivalents - a way of measuring emissions - of the British music industry equals the annual emissions of 180,000 cars, according to the Journal of Cultural Economics. Three-quarters of this is due to live music performances.
The 1975 and their label Dirty Hit have signed a campaign, Music Declares Emergency, pledging to make their work ecologically sustainable and recently phased out plastic products including CD cases.
The track release follows Thunberg’s address on 23 July in which she urged French politicians to “unite behind the science” of climate change, even if they ignored her and other children’s warnings.
Reporting by Tom Finn, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit www.trust.org