Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg blasted world leaders in an emotional and passionate speech at the United Nations, accusing them of not taking enough action to protect the future generation.
In a stirring and fiery speech, she said, “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. 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 dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” the 16-year-old said.
“Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
My full speech in United Nations General Assembly. #howdareyou https://t.co/eKZXDqTAcP
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 23, 2019
On the eve of the summit, the UN also published a report that said that the five-year period ending 2019 was set to be the hottest ever in history. This really is a grim reminder of what human activity has done to the Earth.
The meeting, organized by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, saw a congregation of about 60 world leaders.
The positive side of the meeting was that many leaders pledged to reduce greenhouse gases. For instance, Angela Merkel – the Chancellor of Germany – said that by 2038, coal mining in Germany would stop. She also promoted a new $60 billion to expedite a transition to clean power over the next 10 years. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will increase its share of renewable energy by 2022. However, he did not give out any plan to phase out the nation’s dependence on coal.
Unfortunately, President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro – under whose leadership the Amazon rainforests are burning at an unprecedented rate – was notably absent.
Guterres announced that 77 nations across the world had announced initiatives to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
While this certainly is a positive step, many scientists warn that much more needs to be done to mitigate the effects of climate change.