Rwandan Environment Minister Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya slammed youth activist Greta Thunberg on Friday for her criticism of the ongoing COP26 climate summit.
The top Rwandan diplomat said Thunberg’s critique of a carbon credit system, which developing nations are largely in favor of, was unnecessary, Politico reported. Under a carbon credit system, countries and private businesses that emit an amount of greenhouse gasses above a set threshold could pay other entities that emit under the limit, according to the World Economic Forum.
“They’re just complaining just for complaining,” Mujawamariya told Politico.
Thunberg accused advocates of carbon credits, also known as offsetting, of “greenwashing” in a series of tweets. She said that big oil corporations such as BP and Shell Oil supported the proposal since it would be a free pass for continued pollution.
#COP26: GREENWASH ALERT!
The fossil fuel industry & banks caused are among the biggest climate villains. Now @Shell @BP & @StanChart are here in Glasgow trying to scale up offsetting & give polluters a free pass to keep polluting. Their plan could trash the 1,5°C goal.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) November 3, 2021
“It is time to take down the Taskforce on Corporate Scams,” Thunberg tweeted Wednesday. “Polluting profiteers see offsetting as their ‘get out of jail for free card’ in the climate game. But offsetting is often a dangerous climate lie.”
“We are a part of nature. If we protect nature, we protect ourselves,” the youth activist said in a follow up tweet. “We do not protect ourselves with dangerous climate lies like offsets.”
However, Mujawamariya predicted that nations would ultimately adopt a carbon offsetting program during COP26, according to Politico. She added that Rwanda would rely on carbon offsets to fund its transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
“Do they propose another solution?” she told Politico. “The leaves of the trees will fix the carbon, that’s scientific.”