People underestimating "angry kids," says Greta Thunberg

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg looks on upon her arrival at Santo Amaro port in Lisbon, Portugal December 3, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 03 December 2019

People underestimating "angry kids," says Greta Thunberg

  • "People are underestimating the force of angry kids," Thunberg said
  • Thunberg said she would spend a few days in Lisbon before the COP25 climate summit

LISBON: People are failing to grasp the anger of the younger generation in the face of a changing climate, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said on Tuesday.
"People are underestimating the force of angry kids," Thunberg told a crowd of reporters and supporters. "They're angry and frustrated."
The 16-year-old activist spoke after arriving at a port in Lisbon, where she disembarked after more than two weeks spent crossing the Atlantic in a catamaran.
Thunberg said she would spend a few days in Lisbon before making her way to Madrid, where the COP25 climate summit is currently underway, where she would work to ensure the "voices of future generations" are heard.


World Bank: Indonesia forest fires cost $5.2bn in economic losses

Updated 51 min 42 sec ago

World Bank: Indonesia forest fires cost $5.2bn in economic losses

  • Economic losses equal to 0.5 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product
  • Drifting smoke at the height of the dry season in September triggered a diplomatic spat between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur

JAKARTA: The total damage and economic loss from forest fires in Indonesia this year amounted to at least $5.2 billion, equal to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product, the World Bank said in a report on Wednesday.
The estimate was based on its assessment in eight affected provinces from June to October 2019, though analysts at the multinational bank said fires had continued to rage through to November.
“The forest and land fires, as well as the resulting haze, led to significant negative economic impacts, estimated at $157 million in direct damage to assets and $5.0 billion in losses from affected economic activities,” the World Bank wrote in the report.
Over 900,000 people reported respiratory illnesses, 12 national airports halted operations, and hundreds of schools in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore had to temporarily close due to the fires.
Drifting smoke at the height of the dry season in September triggered a diplomatic spat between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
More than 942,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) of forests and lands were burned this year, the biggest since devastating fires in 2015 when Indonesia saw 2.6 million hectares burned, according to official figures. Officials said the spike was due to El Nino weather patterns lengthening the dry season.
The World Bank also estimated a 0.09 and 0.05 percentage points reduction in Indonesia’s economic growth in 2019 and 2020, respectively, due to the fires. Its growth forecast for Indonesia is 5 percent for 2019 and 5.1 percent for 2020.
The blazes were “manmade and have become a chronic problem annually since 1997” because fire is considered the cheapest method to prepare land for cultivation, the bank said.
Because about 44 percent of the areas burned in 2019 were in peatlands, carbon emissions from Indonesia’s fires were estimated to be almost double the emissions from the fires in the Brazilian Amazon this year.
The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast estimated a total of 720 megatons of CO2 emissions came from Indonesian forest fires in January-November this year.
Longer-term effects of repeated fires were not included in this estimate, the World Bank said. Repeated haze exposure would reduce health and education quality and damage the global image of palm oil — an important commodity for Indonesia.