My name is Greta Thunberg, I am fifteen years old and I’m from Sweden. I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now.
Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do. But I’ve learnt that no one is too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school – then imagine what we all could do together if we really wanted to.
But to do that we have to speak clearly. No matter how uncomfortable that may be. You only speak of green, eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess. Even when the only sensible thing to do is to pull the emergency brake.
You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children. But I don’t care about being popular, I care about climate justice and the living planet.
We are about to sacrifice our civilization for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue to make enormous amounts of money. We are about to sacrifice the biosphere so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. But it is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.
The year 2078 I will celebrate my seventy-fifth birthday.
If I have children, then maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask about you.
Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything, while there still was time to act. You say that you love your children above everything else. And yet you are stealing their future.
Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there’s no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and we need to focus on equity.
And if solutions within this system are so impossible to find then maybe we should change the system itself?
We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. You’ve run out of excuses and we’re running out of time. We’ve come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not.
The real power belongs to the people.