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Greta Thunberg: "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood"
23 September 2019, 19:54
In a powerful speech at the UN Climate Action Summit, Greta Thunberg appealed to world leaders about the desperate need to stop the effects of climate change.
Days after millions of young people took to the streets worldwide to demand emergency action on climate change, leaders gathered for the annual United Nations general assembly in New York.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
Addressing the Climate Action Summit, Greta Thunberg said:
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood."
"Yet you all come to us young people for help. How dare you.
"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing."
In an emotional speech she said:"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money.
"For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. And yet you continue to look away. How dare you.
The 16-year old Swedish environmental activist stressed: "My message is that we'll be watching you."
She offered world leaders a warning: “You are failing us. But 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.”
US president Donald Trump, who has previously described climate change as "a hoax", was a late addition to those attending the summit.
Watch the full video at the top of this page.