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You’ve Stolen My Dreams

Activist Greta Thunberg delivered not just words but an impassioned plea for action. (Courtesy photo for education only)

Activist Greta Thunberg and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (Courtesy photo for education only)

Activist Greta Thunberg delivered not just words but an impassioned plea for action. (Courtesy photo for education only)

Activist Greta Thunberg delivered not just words but an impassioned plea for action. (Courtesy photo for education only)

(WEBPUBLICA) UNITED NATIONS / New York – A UN climate summit drawing 60 world leaders has opened in New York. Activist Greta Thunberg delivered not just words but an impassioned plea for action.

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg delivered a sharp rebuke to world leaders on Monday for their inaction addressing the existential crisis of climate change.

“You come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” a visibly angry Thunberg told the high-level audience gathered for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

Read more: Climate emergency: New hope, or just empty words?

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing,” thundered the 16-year-old Swedish girl, who has galvanized youth across the world to mobilize against climate change.

“We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” she said, holding back tears. “If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you.”

More than 60 world leaders are expected to attend the summit called by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to talk about the climate crisis and policy solutions.

Climate strike draws protesters around the world

Merkel hears ‘wake-up call’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government agreed on a climate package last week that was received with mixed reactions, told the gathering that the international community needs to listen to scientists and youth.

Read more: Is Germany too stingy to fund the fight against climate change?

“We have all heard the wake-up call of youth,” she said, referring to climate protests. ”Germany has 1% of the world’s population and 2% of the world’s emissions.”

Merkel described Germany’s newly unveiled climate package as the beginning of a “profound transition” that will make the country climate neutral by 2050.

The German leader said climate change is a global problem and that industrial nations have been the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, while developing nations are bearing the brunt of the crisis.

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