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 ecosytems 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!"
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at #UNGA: "This is all wrong...You all 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." https://t.co/YTVSvKxTkg pic.twitter.com/px90HghuQd— ABC News (@ABC) September 23, 2019
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."
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”My speech in UN General Assembly in print https://t.co/8wYyCa4H01— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 23, 2019
"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."