In a fiery speech at the UN Climate Action Summit, Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish climate activist who is credited with initiating the “Fridays for Future” movement, calls out world leadership on the topic of climate change.
She speaks on behalf of her generation. “You are failing us!” is her reaction to the action that the global leadership has taken so far to combat climate change. These actions would, according to Thunberg only provide a 50% chance of staying under a 1.5 degree rise of temperature, a tipping point that could initiate irreversible changes to this world that would be out of human control.
Her frustration with being part of a generation, potentially left with the irreversible environmental damages produced by generations before hers is evident throughout the speech.
Thunberg’s main message is “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.”. She also calls out the lack of urgency displayed by leaders across the world, calling out current approaches to combat climate change as ” just ‘business as usual'” and warns that “With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.”
Thunberg’s speech talks with the anger and urgency of a whole generation, a generation that sees the world at the brink of collapsing due to careless and economy-driven decisions generation before have made.
And it seems that this urgency and anger that has already moved millions of students out on the streets to protest for better and more effective solutions on climate change every Friday, has made a difference once again. Today, just one day after Thunberg’s speech, 65 countries have pledged efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.