“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here,” she said in an emotional plea. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you have come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.”
“You say you hear us, and that you understand the urgency… I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation, and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe,” she continued.
“We will not let you get away with this. Right now is where we draw the line,” she said, to a round of applause.
The speech comes after more than four million people turned up to 6,000 climate strike events across 1,000 cities around the world last week fighting for a fossil-fuel-free future.
Following the speech, Thunberg and 15 other children filed a complaint with the UN claiming that five of the world’s major economies have violated their human rights by not taking adequate action to stop the climate crisis.
“Each one of us had our rights violated and denied, our futures are being destroyed,” explained Alexandria Villaseñor, a 14-year-old activist from New York.
Even with the strictest emission cuts being discussed; the world will only have a 50 per cent chance of limiting future warming to another .4C, which is a global goal.
Those odds aren’t good enough, and Thunberg isn’t going to sit by while world leaders play Russian roulette with her future.
“They promised to protect the rights of the child and they have not done this,” she said at a media conference after the summit. “The message is that we have had enough.”
Greta Thunberg has spoken – and we need to listen to her. And act. Immediately.