22 September 2019
New York: Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, and three other young environment crusaders have sought UN action against climate change and asked for a world without toxic emissions.
As part of the Youth Climate Summit at the UN headquarters here, Thunberg, Argentina's Bruno Rodriguez, Kenya's Wanjuhi Njoroge, and Komal Karishma Kumar of the Fiji Islands, on Saturday asked that the world's leaders to give an account of what they plan to do about this scourge and warned they will continue protesting in the streets until something is done, reports Efe news.
The four activists accompanied UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the beginning of this meeting that precedes the Climate Action Summit on Monday, to which the top UN official has asked the world's leaders to come with concrete, realistic plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next 10 years and 100 percent by 2050.
In a brief speech, Thunberg, who next will address the world's presidents and heads of state on Monday, said that the September 21 protests requesting action against climate change "showed that we are united, and that we young people are unstoppable".
On September 21, more than 4 million people, mostly youths, poured into the streets around the world to protest the climate emergency, according to protest organizers, who said that in New York they numbered more than 250,000.
Thunberg said that since she will speak at the Climate Action Summit, to be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others, she would prefer on this occasion to give up her time to her companions.
Rodriguez, 18, said "enough is enough. We don't want fossil fuels anymore", and that the world must "stop the criminal contaminant behaviour of big corporations", because 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Njoroge, like Kumar, insisted that the countries that have contributed least to the climate crisis are the ones suffering from it the most, though the latter noted that this wasn't the time to blame but to collaborate.
For her part, Kumar took aim at contaminating corporations saying "we demand action. Stop wasting time" and stop standing in the way to grab "short term profits".
After the speeches by the four activists, Guterres expressed his support for the young activists and encouraged them to keep fighting. "I encourage you to keep your initiative. Keep your mobilization and more and more to hold my generation accountable," he said.
"My generation has largely failed until now to preserve both justice in the world and to preserve the planet," he said.