• Friday, Sep 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:02 am

Thunberg warns governments in Madrid that 'change is coming'

  • Published at 10:46 pm December 7th, 2019
People attend a climate change protest march, as COP25 climate summit is held in Madrid, Spain, December 6, 2019 Reuters

'Change is coming whether you like it or not because we have no other choice'

Teen activist Greta Thunberg took her call for bold action to tackle climate change to a UN summit in Spain on Friday, warning world leaders that a growing youth-led protest movement meant they could no longer hide.

Accorded rock-star status by young environmental activists, the 16-year-old had crossed the Atlantic by boat to drop in on the climate talks in Madrid then join one of the Friday afternoon marches she has inspired around the world.

“The current world leaders are betraying us and we will not let that happen anymore,” Thunberg said in a brief speech to the protesters, some of whom had chanted “We Love You Greta.”

“Change is coming whether you like it or not because we have no other choice,” she said.

About 15,000 marchers took part, according to a municipal official in Madrid. Young activists formed a human shield to protect Thunberg, but the crush of onlookers was so intense that she had to be whisked to the stage at the end of the rally in a red electric car.

The media scrum that followed Thunberg underscored how an upsurge in climate activism has pushed the crisis up the agenda since the school pupil began solitary strikes outside the parliament in her native Sweden last summer.

“We are in one of the most critical moments in history and it seems for the first time we are speaking with one voice,” said actor Javier Bardem, who also addressed the marchers.

Growing concern over increasingly intense wildfires, cyclones and floods has swelled the ranks of protesters in cities around the world into the millions this year.

Thunberg had earlier told an event at a cultural centre that she and her fellow activists would ensure that world leaders “cannot just hide away anymore.”

“We are really gaining momentum, we are getting bigger and bigger and our voices are being heard more and more, but of course that does not translate into political action,” she said.

Unwilling to fly because of the pollution it causes, Thunberg had sailed the Atlantic to attend a UN summit in September, before returning to Europe by catamaran.

The annual summit opened on Monday with a call from UN chief Antonio Guterres not to be the “generation ... that fiddled while the planet burned.”

By this meeting’s close on December 13, negotiators hope to resolve remaining disagreements on how to implement an accord struck in Paris in 2015 to avert catastrophic global warming.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail