Greta Thunberg’s United Nations speech shames leaders, urges action

This young climate activist told world leaders that they were "failing us" at the U.N.'s Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23.

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish teenage climate activist. On Sept. 23, 2019, Thunberg gave a speech to world leaders at the U.N.'s Climate Action Summit, urging them to take action on climate change.

Photo courtesy of: Anders Hellberg/ Wikimedia Commons

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish teenage climate activist. On Sept. 23, 2019, Thunberg gave a speech to world leaders at the U.N.'s Climate Action Summit, urging them to take action on climate change.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






With resources on the planet steadily declining, the issue of climate change is global, and has been affecting the world as a whole. Climate change can be described as the earth slowly growing warmer and warmer until it would one day eventually become inhabitable. 

According to NASA, some of the specific effects of climate change include “more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration, and intensity of tropical storms.”

People have many opinions regarding how much exactly climate change could impact the planet. While there are some that believe that the issue of climate change is nonexistent, there are others who believe that the issue is very much real, and are working hard in order to spread the word.

One significant example is Greta Thunberg, a teenage Swedish environmental activist. Many people see her as a role model and a leader for the next generation, which is the generation that would most likely end up being the greatest impacted by climate change.

This is due to her constant efforts to promote her values to millions of people throughout the globe. One of her most recent efforts was her speech at the United Nations’ (U.N.) Climate Action Summit in New York City on Sept. 23, where Thunberg made her opinion known to world leaders about what she believed they had to do. 

Throughout the speech, she let the leaders know that their promises regarding climate change are merely empty words and they will remain so until real, tactile, change is made. 

Thunberg started off by telling world leaders that “we’ll be watching you,” reminding them of their influence and the fact that there are millions out there looking towards them for a change. 

She rebuked the leaders verbally, accusing them of sitting still, before letting them know that if they “really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then [they] would be evil. And that I refuse to believe,” signifying that yes, there is still hope for change and Thunberg hopes that change can be achieved.

She then built up the idea of cutting emissions in half, saying that it is not acceptable for “we who have to live with the consequences” and would never truly conquer the enemy of climate change. Her main idea involves that of a real change having to be made, and that if it is not done, then she and the young people will start to understand the betrayal that the leaders of the world committed.

Despite the choice made by the U.N., it cannot be denied that Thunberg’s speech was riddled with pathos and reminders that politicians’ actions will most likely end up having consequences, and many people throughout the globe are campaigning for action to be taken against climate change. 

While it is a belief that climate change will greatly impact the world, the campaigning of many people may eventually serve as something positive in order to counter that. Only time will tell what will happen in the future regarding this monumental issue.