Greta Thunberg visits PIK at Telegrafenberg-Campus

03.04.2019 - Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden recently visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Thunberg and Luisa Neubauer, the 22-year-old activist of the German „Fridays for Future“-Movement, met with the Directors Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer and other experts from PIK. They discussed topics like the Paris Agreement and the latest insights from climate science and talked with scientists like Ricarda Winkelmann, Stefan Rahmstorf or Jessica Strefler, as well as PIK Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, about their research at the institute.
Greta Thunberg visits PIK at Telegrafenberg-Campus
Activists Greta Thunberg from Sweden (left) and Luisa Neubauer from Germany with scientists Ottmar Edenhofer (left) and Johan Rockström, Directors of PIK. Photo: Benjamin Kriemann/PIK

Greta Thunberg and Johan Rockström, who is also originally from Sweden, had met earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, when she expressed her wish to visit PIK and learn more about the most recent state of climate science in the course of a trip to Germany. “As climate scientists, we’re happy to inform policy makers, business leaders, civil society representatives about the risks of unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions as well as about options for climate stabilization – so we’re certainly glad to do just the same when two young activists come to us,” Rockström says. “The young people are right to say that this is about intergenerational justice – science clearly shows that climate action today, or the lack thereof, defines the world our children and grandchildren will have to live in. These two young women remind all of us that we grown-ups have to take responsibility”.

A variety of German media outlets like Süddeutsche Zeitung, Zeit Online, Berliner Morgenpost, Tagesspiegel or Welt reported about Greta Thunbergs visit at PIK and the “Friday for Future” protests, as well as some international media like Associated Press or the LA Times. Thunberg, who was a key speaker of the student’s demonstrations that Friday in Berlin, received the German Goldene Kamera Award on Saturday.

German TV stations like ZDF and RBB mentioned Thunberg’s visit at PIK in in their newscasts and interviewed Johan Rockström, who highlighted that the students represent not only the future but also the truth, as what they ask for is based on science. “That’s what makes the movement so important.” Ottmar Edenhofer stressed the new dimension of the movement in an interview in Tagesspiegel. The young people clearly pointed out that the lack of climate policy is a gamble with their futures they are not willing to support, he said: “This is unprecedented”.