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Greta Thunberg speaks during the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Greta Thunberg speaks during the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images)

'How Dare You!': Greta Thunberg Rages at 'Fairytales of Eternal Economic Growth' at UN Climate Summit

"Entire ecosytems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money."

Eoin Higgins

In a speech to the United Nations Climate Action Summit Monday, Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg lit into world leaders for their "empty words" around solving the climate crisis and said decades of inaction have left her generation without a future. 

"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 fairytales of eternal economic growth," said Thunberg. "How dare you!"

Thunberg delivered her remarks during a panel on the climate crisis after she was asked what she thought of the worldwide climate strike movement that she began, alone, 13 months ago. But the youth activist wasn't interested in rehashing the past or praise from politicians. 

"I shouldn't be standing here," said Thunberg. "I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."

"For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear," Thunberg continued. "How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight."

On Monday, Thunberg also joined with 16 youth activists to present the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child with a "landmark complaint" alleging the world is not living up to its responsibilities under the treaty to provide "a world worth inheriting to the future," according to Fridays for Future organizer Alexandria Villaseñor.

In her remarks to the panel on Monday, Thunberg put world leaders on notice.

"We will not let you get away with this," said Thunberg. "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."


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