Greta Thunberg has become the global icon for climate awareness. The Swedish environmentalist recently presented her concerns at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit and called out the policymakers across the globe for negating a process that is already starting to affect the planet and also for overlooking environmental concerns for economic gains. There are many climate change deniers sitting in our parliaments across the world. One of the biggest mistakes being made by policymakers is labeling the concern for the climate as a progressive cause, which makes it difficult for conservatives to stand behind it and easier for deniers to oppose it.

The 16-year-old has been attacked by many politicians across the globe due to their preference of economy over climate. President Trump attended the Summit for 15 minutes and left. This sets the precedent for many Trump supporters that the cause of climate change is a hoax, and that is exactly what Thunberg spoke against. British businessman and Trump ally, Arron Banks also took a jibe at Greta for her zero-carbon trip across the North Atlantic. These are dedicated businessmen and are mostly from conversative parties that have strong financial ties. Due to the issue being a progressive or a conservative one, we see many conservative parties joining the bandwagon of denying climate change. These include Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (formerly the Front National) and Alternative for Germany (AfD). The Brexit Party has been at the forefront of Britain leaving the EU without a deal because that would result in mass deregulation of the market, a shredding of the UK’s environmental protections, and a fire sale of national assets for favoured U.S. companies. These are all the causes that Greta and her supporting organisations stand behind.

Some of the critique and verbal abuse stemming from US commentators shows a great link between their connection with the Heartland Institute and their denial of climate change. The Heartland Institute is known for its big oil funding and has a unique history of denying effects on climate due to the profits it makes as a result of exploiting the natural habitats on the planet. Steve Milloy of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is also one of the critics of Greta and his opinion is shaped by the donations that CEI regularly receives from the fossil fuel industry. Despite climate change being inevitable, industries seem to have a stronghold on the narrative and policies that can damage the environment further.