Greta Thunberg to world leaders: ‘How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood’


My message is that
we’ll be watching you. k[Laughter/applause] 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! [Cheering/applause] For more than 30 years the science
has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away,
and come here saying that you are 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 don’t 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.
[Applause] The popular idea of cutting
our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance
of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible
chain reactions beyond human control. 50% 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. They also rely on my generation
sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with
technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply
not acceptable to us – we who have to live
with the consequences. How dare you pretend that this
can be solved with just business-as-usual and some technical solutions. With today’s emissions levels,
that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less
than eight and a half years. There will not be any solutions
or plans presented in line with these figures today. Because these numbers
are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature
enough to tell it like it is. 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. [Applause] 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. Thank you.
[Cheering/applause]

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