If you have been reading the news or have been on Twitter, you must have definitely heard of Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is a 16-year-old climate activist who skipped school to protest outside the Swedish parliament for their inaction against issues related to climate change. This movement of hers has, since then, grown exponentially with people […]
If you have been reading the news or have been on Twitter, you must have definitely heard of Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is a 16-year-old climate activist who skipped school to protest outside the Swedish parliament for their inaction against issues related to climate change.
This movement of hers has, since then, grown exponentially with people across continents coming together to protest their government’s apathy towards climate change – an issue that should be treated with utmost priority considering we’re facing a mass extinction, as Thunberg says.
Now, Greta Thunberg and 15 other young activists filed a complaint at the United Nations against five countries who they believe aren’t doing enough to battle global warming. The countries in question are Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey who were signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child 30 years ago.
The complaint accuses these countries of not taking enough action to ward off climate change and hence, violating children’s rights.
A video of Thunberg’s speech at the UN has gone viral for her searing attack against governments who have prioritised economic growth over the painful issue of global warming. NDTV reports that the 16 young people were backed by the legal firm Hausfeld LLP and Earthjustice, an environmental law group.
Here’s the full transcript of Thunberg’s speech. The teen addressed the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit in New York City on Monday.
“My message is that we’ll be watching you.
“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. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. 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!
“For more than 30 years, science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
“You say you hear us and that you 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.
“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.
Fifty per cent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.
“So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.
“To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.
“How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.
“There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.
“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.
“We will not let you get away with this. 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.
Thunberg’s family has adopted several lifestyle choices like going vegan and giving up air travel in order to reduce their carbon footprint. She has also featured on the cover of Time magazine who named her a “next generation leader”. This year, in August, Thunberg chose to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK, to New York, US in order to solidify her belief in reducing her carbon footprint.