Swedish teenage activist delivers angry and emotional speech to world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit, as emissions pledges start to stack up.
“We will not let you get away with this.” That was Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg’s message to world leaders gathered at the UN’s headquarters in New York for today’s flagship Climate Action Summit.
The teenage activist, who addressed the Summit straight after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres alongside two other youth campaigners, was visibly angry as she slammed world leaders for failing to act with sufficient urgency to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is all wrong – I shouldn’t be up here,” she said. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope – how dare you. You have stolen my childhood with your dreams and empty words. Yet I am the lucky one. People are dying.”
Global greenhouse gas emissions have risen for the last two years, despite an agreement by world leaders in 2015 to start slashing emissions.
Thunberg called for more action to immediately cut emissions as fast as possible, criticising goals to cut emissions by half by 2030 as not good enough. Scientists agree that trajectory offers a 50 per cent chance of limiting average temperature rises to 1.5C, but Thunberg said such a goal was “simply not acceptable” given the risks of the earth reaching a tipping point when runaway climate change occurs.
Greta Thunberg: “For more than thirty years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away? And come here saying you are doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”