When it comes to bravery, there is no age limit. Don't believe me? Just take a look at 16-year-old Greta Thunberg as an example. On Monday, Sept. 23, the teenage activist took the podium at the United Nations in front of international politicians to address the global climate crisis. Her speech was expected to be impressive, but these tweets about Greta Thunberg's speech at the U.N. prove many people were left speechless.
On Monday, Sept. 23, the United Nations hosted a Climate Action Summit in New York City. Politicians and leaders from across the world attended the summit to discuss reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% over the next decade. Among the attendees was Thunberg, the outspoken teenage climate activist from Sweden who helped organize the Global Climate Strike that took place on Friday, Sept. 20.
During the summit, Thunberg took the stage and accused politicians of "failing" the youth of the world. She cited increasing global greenhouse gas emissions and the ever-shortening timeframe to find solutions. Thunberg said,
You are still not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. Young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you.
Thunberg's words led many attendees to break into applause, but she also called out world leaders for not taking enough action against climate change and simply delivering "empty words" in response to the crisis. She said,
This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.
Thunberg's passionate speech not only impressed world leaders, but all of those watching her across the globe. Once the activist took the stage, Twitter was amazed by her strength.
Some people could only express their feelings in that most millennial of art forms: the meme.
Thunberg's speech might have been a showstopper, but the 16-year old activist isn't stopping there. On Sept. 23, Thunberg announced via Twitter that she and 15 other children across the world have filed a complaint with the United Nations against five major economies. The complaint alleges that Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey have not upheld their obligations under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty that was established in 1989. According to CNN, the complainants allege that their human rights have been violated by the countries' lack of action in preventing the "deadly and foreseeable consequences" of the climate crisis. Elite Daily reached out to the five countries' embassies for comment on the complaint, and whether they have plans to address reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but did not hear back in time for publication. However, some of the largest climate offenders are not named — China and the United States, two of the largest carbon emitters globally, have not signed onto the portion of the Convention which allows complaints against them, as noted by CNN.
Thunberg has gained world-wide attention by staging weekly sit-ins outside Swedish Parliament in order to call attention to climate change. Over the past few days, she's been in the United States to help with the Sept. 20 Global Climate Strike and attend meetings with politicians in Washington, D.C. and New York City. On Sept. 18, Thunberg told members of the U.S. Senate's climate task force that they were "not trying hard enough" to tackle climate change. So clearly, she doesn't beat around the bush.
Some critics may underestimate Thunberg based on her age, but it's safe to say that the 16-year-old environmentalist means business. Based on her passionate speech, I doubt this will be the last we hear from her.