Greta Thunberg’s United Nations Speech

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words." Thunberg vociferated

Lexi Kincaid

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On September 23, 2019 the United Nations Climate Summit was held in New York City. This momentous occasion was marked with a very young and passionate speaker, Greta Thunberg. Thunberg, only 16 years old, attacked politicians for their lack of involvement and complete ignorance of the climate change issue. Her speech explained at length how the climate issue will not be solved with the current policies that have been set in place by countries and the United Nations. Thunberg explained to the U.N that, “The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.” Thunberg went on explaining how this slim chance is not an appropriate gamble for our posterity. Thunberg made it clear she was not vilifying the politicians, but rather asking for their action and cooperation to fix this urgent issue. 

Since then many political leaders have commented on Thunberg’s speech. Prince Harry stated, “Genuinely, I don’t understand how anyone in this world, whoever we are- you, us, children, leaders whoever it is- no one can deny science, otherwise we live in a very troubling world.” Although many leaders like Harry praised Thunberg, President Putin commented he didn’t feel the same enthusiasm, feeling instead that Thunberg didn’t understand the complexities of the modern world. President Donald Trump tweeted “She seems like a bright girl, looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Now, if this was sarcasm or a complement is up to the reader, but Trump has made his beliefs on the climate change issue very clear while in office 

Thunberg and a group of other child activists have filed a legal complaint that countries have violated a 30-year human rights treaty. Not much is known about where this complaint will go, but it could be very useful for Thunberg’s case.  

Thunberg and other climate activists have made it clear that they will no longer stand for politicians’ empty words and will fight to try and create a better, cleaner, safer future for everyone. 

Greta’s full speech: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763452863/transcript-greta-thunbergs-speech-at-the-u-n-climate-action-summit