The Russian State Duma (lower chamber) is not planning to send an invitation to Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg to deliver a speech, Russian lawmaker Vasily Vlasov does not have powers to do that, chairs of two State Duma Committees on Ecology and Environment Protection and on Control and Regulations told TASS as reports emerged that Vlasov had sent an invitation to the Swedish embassy in Russia addressed to Thunberg inviting her to speak to the State Duma.
Chair of the Committee on Ecology and Environment Protection Vladimir Burmatov said, "it is necessary to try to listen to and hear everyone." "It is vital to take different opinions into consideration, live in the agenda of the whole world, we shouldn’t stray away from it. However, our national interests are a priority, the State Duma as parliament should be based on precisely that," the lawmaker said.
The committee chair pointed out that in general he follows speeches of the Swedish climate activist, while "Thunberg is not the only serious representative in this sphere." "If we listen to every environmental activist or public figure at the State Duma podium, then it will be the only thing we do," he stressed. "In my view, Greta does not have that many proposals and you can just acquaint with them by simply opening her Instagram." Burmatov also said that he trusted "Vlasov to address this issue as an active social media user," TASS reports.
At the same time, the lawmaker pointed out that a lot of what Thunberg says is in line with the position of the Russian leadership and what the committee works on now, "We are equally concerned by the climate change. Russia is now doing a lot to address this issue, much more than many countries by the way. We have ratified the Paris Agreement, soon a law will be passed on greenhouse gases. Looking at the greenhouse gas emission statistics, Russia is ahead of many countries in reducing them," Burmatov recalled, underlining that the laws adopted by this convocation of the State Duma particularly contributed to these results.
Meanwhile, Chair of the Committee on Control and Regulations Olga Savastyanova clarified that "a lawmaker cannot invite [anyone] to a plenary meeting or a State Duma Council." According to her, it is the committees that send out invitations.
Last week, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg arrived at the UN and delivered a much talked about speech about the climate change. She accused heads of states and governments who attended the climate summit of stealing her dreams and childhood with their empty promises. She advised world leaders against even mentioning that enough is done to fight pollution. According to Thunberg, climate problems cannot be solved with "just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions."
The Swedish activist concluded her speech vowing that younger generations will closely watch the actions undertaken by current authorities.
On September 27, a large-scale rally took place in Montreal when 500,000 people demanded more measures to fight climate change. Thunberg attended the rally and had a close-door meeting with the Canadian prime minister before it.