Speaking to Swedish radio station Sveriges, Thunberg said that from a climatic point of view there was nothing positive about the crisis of the coronavirus, as changes in daily life had “extremely little resemblance” to the extreme action required to deal with climate change.
“The crown tragedy, of course, has no long-term positive effect on the climate other than a single thing, namely ideas on how to perceive and deal with an emergency,” he said. “Because during the crown crisis we suddenly act with the necessary strength.”
The pandemic had moved people around the world to action, Thunberg said.
“All parts of society come together and politicians put aside their differing views and work together for the good of all,” he said.
People in positions of power in politics, business and finance have said “they will do what is necessary” as “you cannot put a price on a human life” during the pandemic, Thunberg said.
But when millions have died due to air pollution, he said, these lives “can be worth it.”
“These words and this response to a crisis are opening up a whole new dimension, because you see at least 7 million people dying every year from air pollution-related diseases,” said Thunberg, citing the World Health Organization.
“Obviously they are people whose lives we can pay a price for,” he added. “Because they died for the wrong reasons and in the wrong places in the world.”
Although she had mild symptoms, Thunberg reported on her social media experience to raise awareness about the virus.
At a CNN Coronavirus town hall last month, Thunberg said the pandemic had forced people to “realize that it really depends on science and that we need to listen to scientists and experts.”