European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed that a quarter of all European Union (EU) spending should be directed to mitigation of climate change. Juncker was responding February 22 to Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who in recent weeks has inspired a global movement of children against global warming.
Speaking alongside 16-year-old Thunberg in Brussels, Juncker also criticized US. President Donald Trump for suggesting climate change was "invented" and "ideological".
"In the next financial period from 2021 to 2027, every fourth euro spent within the EU budget will go towards action to mitigate climate change," Juncker said of his proposal for the EU budget, which is typically 1 percent of the bloc's economic output, $1.13 Trillion USD over a seven-year period.
"Mr Trump and his friends believe that climate change is something that has just been invented and it’s an ideological concept, but ... something dangerous is already underway," Juncker said.
"Unite behind the science, that is our demand," Thunberg told a plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). "Talk to the scientists, listen to them”.
Thunberg came to the world’s attention by taking her climate protest to last month's World Economic Forum in Davos to galvanize leaders meeting there to action. Politicians' failure to act "would be the greatest failure of human history and they will be remembered as the greatest villains of all time," she said. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of school students around the world have joined her campaign by skipping school each week to focus politicians minds on more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions cuts.