Full text of Greta Thunberg's speech at UN Climate Action Summit
A visibly emotional Thunberg, 16, said in stern remarks at the opening of the summit that the generations that have polluted the most have burdened her and her generation with the extreme impacts of climate change.
Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg warned the world leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit for failing to take strong measures to combat climate change.
A visibly emotional Thunberg, 16, said in stern remarks at the opening of the summit that the generations that have polluted the most have burdened her and her generation with the extreme impacts of climate change. "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," said the Swedish teenager, her voice quivering.
The young activist's speech came 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 aiming to inject fresh momentum into stalling efforts to curb carbon emissions.
Here is the full transcript of Greta Thunberg's speech:
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 in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
For more than 30 years, the 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 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.
Fifty percent 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 percent 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 of global temperature rise the best odds given by the IPCC the world had 420Gt of CO2 left to emit back on January 1, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350Gt.
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 eight and a half 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.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned governments ahead of the event that they would have to offer action plans to qualify to speak at the summit, which is aimed at boosting the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat global warming. In his opening remarks, he tried to capture the urgency of climate change and called out the fossil fuel industry