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Greta Thunberg pulls out of book festival over fossil fuel ties

By AFP
August 05, 2023

EDINBURGH: Climate activist Greta Thunberg pulled out of a much-anticipated event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Friday, citing a sponsor´s “heavy” investments in fossil fuel and accusing them of “greenwashing”.

“As a climate activist I cannot attend an event which receives sponsorship from Baillie Gifford, who invest heavily in the fossil fuel industry”, said the 20-year-old Swedish activist in a statement on the festival website.

Thunberg was due to speak at the event entitled “It´s Not Too Late To Change The World” on August 13. Tickets for the event, which was meant to take place in the 3,000-seat Playhouse theatre, sold out in less than 24 hours. British investment firm Baillie Gifford and festival director Nick Barley both defended their ties.

“As a charitable organisation, we would not be in a position to provide that platform without the long-term support of organisations such as Baillie Gifford,” said Barley, adding that he respected Thunberg´s decision.

“The Book Festival exists to give a platform for debate and discussion around key issues affecting humanity today - including the climate emergency.”