• Greta Thunberg said she won’t attend the UN’s climate change conference over vaccine inequality.
  • Rich countries have secured most of the world’s vaccines, leaving other populations unprotected.
  • Thunberg said many people would not be able to travel to the conference and speak as a result.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she is skipping the UN’s climate change conference, citing vaccine inequality between rich and poor nations.

The 18-year-old tweeted on Friday: “Of course I would love to attend the Glasgow #COP26 But not unless everyone can take part on the same terms.”

“Right now many countries are vaccinating healthy young people, often at the expense of risk groups and front line workers (mainly from global south, as usual…).”

The COP26 summit is due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, bringing together world leaders to form plans to tackle climate change.

The event’s website makes no mention of the coronavirus or vaccines, but Thunberg said that vaccine inequality would affect the event. 

She said: “Inequality and climate injustice is already the heart of the climate crisis. If people can’t be vaccinated and travel to be represented equally that’s undemocratic and would worsen the problem.”

“Vaccine nationalism won’t solve the pandemic. Global problems need global solutions.”

“But if current trends continue and the #cop26 has to be delayed that doesn’t mean we have to delay the urgent action required.”

“We don’t have to wait for conferences nor anyone or anything else to dramatically start reducing our emissions. Solidarity and action can start today.”

Rich countries have secured access to most of the world’s vaccines, leaving campaigners warning that poorer countries’ populations have been left unprotected.

Insider has contacted the COP26 organizers for comment.

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