Greta Thunberg is a teenage climate activist, who questioned the world leaders at the United Nations climate summit on the 23rd of September 2019. The 16-year-old activist chastised world leaders who had gathered in New York for praising young activists while failing to deliver on the immediate actions needed to change the worst effects of climate change. Days after telling U.S. lawmakers to listen to the scientists, she made the same demand on an international scale and warned that if the world continued with business as usual, her generation would face an insurmountable catastrophe.
With tears in her eyes she had one question for the global leaders: “How dare you?”. She was very emotional as she spoke on the panel at the summit. The young activist began, skipping school in Sweden to protest about the inaction on climate change. At the summit, she complained bitterly how she should be back in school, but had to travel for two weeks on a solar-powered sailboat just to reach the United State, Miss Thunberg has quickly become the face of a global movement of young people demanding that the planet’s future is safeguarded, she was the lead in the climate strike in New York, where she was joined by millions of young people all over the world.
Thunberg continued her campaign with other fifteen (15) young people and filed a legal complaint with the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child arguing that countries like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France and Turkey have known about the risks of climate change for decades and have failed to take sufficient action to curb their emissions. Amongst other countries that were petitioners, Nigeria was present, and the petitioners ages ranged from 8 to 17. Her remarks ended with a warning: “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.”.
French President Emmanuel Macron responded to Greta when he addressed the gathering in French and called his fellow leaders to take more ambitious action given the urgency of climate threat. Although Greta has met former USA President Barack Obama, she has brushed off suggestions to meet with Trump because she thinks it would be a waste of time talking to Trump, as she believes Trump will not listen to her. She continues to make her voice heard by pulling teenagers to campaign against pollution, and climate change, she has stopped flying and has gone vegan by choice just to lead by example. She recently published her book “No one is too small to change the world”.