The Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, has spoken at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City.
The 16-year-old Thunberg stood in front of an audience that included world leaders and delivered her speech.
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?” said Thunberg.
“How dare you continue to look away and come here saying you are doing enough. You say you hear us and understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, 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,” Thunberg continued through her tears.
The message Thunberg delivered during her speech at the United Nations Action Climate Summit is consistent with what she has been saying to world leaders in the past. She has held world leaders liable for their failure to address the issue of climate change.
When Thunberg spoke at the Global General Strike last Friday, she called out world leaders for their inaction and condemned the lies and false promises that they have told her.
From her weekly sit-ins outside the Swedish Parliament last August to now speaking at the United Nations, Greta Thunberg has become a leading figure in youth activism against climate change. Within a matter of months, her one-girl protest has sparked a worldwide movement with students from all over 100 countries joining the Global General Strike walkout.
As part of her commitment to fighting for climate change, Thunberg is currently taking time off from school to focus on attending meetings and conferences with different policy makers around the world and also those who have been impacted by the effects of climate change.
After delivering her speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, Greta Thunberg and 15 other children went on to file a complaint with the United Nations against five of the world’s major economies.
The complaint alleges that these five countries did not take the necessary actions to stop the growing climate crisis, resulting in the violation of their human rights. The children, who come from 12 different countries, accused Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey from failing to uphold their obligations under the 30-year-old human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The five countries that are mentioned in the complaint are the biggest emitters of greenhouses historically and currently. These greenhouse gases cause the planet to warm up which then triggers dangerous effects like rising sea levels, stronger storms, and many others.
The children said that these countries have not made use of their resources in preventing the deadly and foreseeable consequences of the climate crisis. They have also not cooperated with other countries to address the problem.
They have also called out these countries for not pledging enough to reduce greenhouse gases. The cuts that they have agreed to won’t stop global temperatures from rising less than two degrees Celsius which was the goal set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The children involved are not asking for any compensation. They are asking the countries involved to adjust their climate goals as soon as possible. They should also work with other countries to address the ongoing crisis.
The United States, which is known to have contributed more global warming-inducing carbon dioxide than any other nation in the world, is not included in the complaint. This is because it has not ratified the treaty that allows children from seeking justice due to potential violations.
China is also absent from the complaint. While it currently emits the most greenhouse gases than any other in the world, it can’t be part of the complaint because it has also not signed that part of the treaty.