World leaders gathered on Monday at the United Nations for the UN Climate Action Summit to push forward on plans to reverse global warming and cope with its most catastrophic effects.
Young leaders were called upon from different parts of the world were invited to discuss on the ever growing climatic changes and one of the invited guests was 16 year old Greta Thunberg.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist focused on the risks posed by climate change. In August 2018, when she was 15, Thunberg took time off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament, holding up a sign calling for stronger climate action.
Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg and two other young people joined UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as he urged diplomats to offer up concrete commitments, solutions and action – not just speeches.
“My message is that we will be watching you. This is all wrong,” Thunberg said, giving an emotional speech that appeared to move the audience at the UN General Assembly hall in New York City.
“I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean,” she added.
“You have come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my childhood with empty words. Yet, I’m one of the lucky ones.
“People are suffering, people are dying. All you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear.”
Pressure from climate activists and environmental activists ratcheted up on Friday, with a day of global student strikes bringing together some four million people who demanded that fossil fuels be curtailed.
“This is a race we are losing, but that we can win,” Guterres said in his opening remarks on Monday. “But we have the tools, and technology is on our side.”
“The biggest cost is doing nothing, and subsidizing a dying fossil-fuel industry,” he told the summit.
“Nature is angry and we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature because nature always strikes back,” he added. “And around the world nature is striking back with fury. June through August was the hottest summer in the Northern Hemisphere.”
Guterres also noted that the last five years were the “hottest on the books, ever” as drastically worsening conditions were beginning to “jeopardize life itself”.
New plans by global leaders were said to represent about 37 percent of current world emissions, but 14 high-emitting countries – accounting for 26 percent of emissions – were not expected to revise their carbon-reduction pledges. They included the United States, Japan and Australia.
Activists hoisted an inflatable blimp of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe standing on a bucket of coal to highlight the dozens of new coal power plants being built in Japan.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!