In an impassioned speech delivered at a UN climate summit in New York, Greta Thunberg told world leaders they have stolen her dreams and her childhood through not acting to tackle climate change.
The 16-year-old climate activist criticised the politicians gathered in the audience for failing to deliver more ambition on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and averting catastrophic global warming.
She claimed politicians had betrayed young people and sacrificed their future in order to reap economic returns.
Ms Thunberg, who herself travelled to the summit by boat to reduce her own emissions. said: “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.
“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.”
Along with 15 other young climate activists, she also filed a complaint at the UN accusing Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey of failing to uphold their obligations to protect children’s human rights by continuing to promote fossil fuels and not adequately curbing emissions.