New York, September 24: Despite seasoned heads of states and veteran politicians attending and addressing the UN Climate Change Summit, it's the speech of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg which has moved the world over the pressing issue. The Swedish environmental activist presented her painful lament by reiterating the words - "how dare you?" - against the leaders of the first world nations who are criticised of severely restricting their approach to tackle climate change -- an issue which poses "existential threat" before the world. Who Is Greta Thunberg and Why Has She Been Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?
"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth - how dare you?" asked Greta, receiving a thunderous applause from the crowd. Among those in attendance was US President Donald Trump, who has described climate change as a "propaganda" and had pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
Greta, in her speech, attacked the international community for restricting their role only towards the Paris Climate Accord. She said that even if the nations signatory to the deal adhere to their commitments, there is only a 50 per cent chance that they may prevent the world temperature from rising by 1.5 degree celsius in the next decade.
Read Full Text of Greta Thunberg's 'How Dare You!' Speech at UN Climate Change Summit 2019:
My message is that we'll be watching you.
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 and yet I'm one of the lucky ones. 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. How dare you!
For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.
The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.
Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 24, 2019 09:59 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).