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Teen to climate uncles: ‘how dare you!’

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, has galvanised a new wave of climate change activism through her weekly Fridays for Future school strikes

By Reuters in United Nations

  • Published 24.09.19, 2:41 AM
  • Updated 24.09.19, 2:41 AM
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters on Monday, September 23, 2019.
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters on Monday, September 23, 2019. (AP)

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on Monday opened the UN Climate Action Summit with an angry condemnation of world leaders for failing to take strong measures to combat climate change.

“How dare you!” she said, days after millions of young people took to the streets worldwide to demand emergency action on climate change.

Thunberg, 16, said in stern remarks 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.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg said.

Thunberg has galvanised a new wave of climate change activism through her weekly Fridays for Future school strikes.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres tried to capture the urgency of climate change. “Nature is angry. And we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature, because nature always strikes back, and around the world nature is striking back with fury,” Guterres said.

President Donald Trump, a climate change denier who has undone every major US regulation aimed at combating climate change, made a brief appearance in the audience of the summit. He listened to remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

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