Yesterday, Parentology attended Amnesty International’s event where Greta Thunberg was named the human rights organization’s Ambassador of Conscience for 2019. She joins past honorees, including U2, Ai Weiwei, Peter Gabriel, Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela.
The 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist and founder of the Fridays for the Future began by acknowledging the members of this group, which has become a global movement fighting for climate change and holding world leaders accountable.
As we’ve been inspired by Thunberg’s past speeches, several of which were published as the book You’re Never Too Small to Make a Difference, we wanted to share last night’s speech here. We hope you’re as inspired as we were.
Greta Thunberg’s Acceptance Speech
This award is for all of those millions of people, young people around the world, who together make up the movement called Fridays for Future. All of these fearless youth are fighting or their future, a future they should be able to take for granted, but as it looks now, they cannot.”
With our business as usual [attitude], we are currently on track for a world that could displace billions of people from their homes, taking away even the most basic living conditions from countless people, making areas of the world uninhabitable for humans…
The fact that this will create huge conflicts and unspoken sufferings is far from a secret, and yet the link between the climate and ecological emergency and mass migration, famine, violations of human rights and war is still not clear to many people.
The changes and the politics required to take on this crisis seemingly don’t exist today. That is why every single one of us must push from every possible angle to hold those who are responsible accountable and to make the people in power act and to take the message from quiet.
We, who together are the movement Fridays for Future, are fighting for our lives. Not only that, but we are also fighting for our future children and grandchildren. For future generations, for every single living being on earth whose biosphere we share, whose biosphere we’re stealing, whose biosphere we are ruling.
We are fighting for everyone, for you, for the people living in areas in the world that are already suffering the consequences from the first stages of the climate and ecological emergency. People who breathe toxic air, who drink contaminated water, who have to flee their homes because of climate and environmental-related disasters.
Indigenous communities whose lands and waters are being destroyed. People whose food and water supply is being threatened by environmental-related catastrophes — stronger and more frequent droughts, rainfalls, storms, or melting glaciers.
Whole nations are now literally being left in ruins, disappearing underneath rising sea levels. People are dying and yet so many of us keep looking away.
The world has never seen a threat to human rights of this scope, so said Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet during the recent UN Human Rights Council in Geneva when referring to the climate crisis. She said, “The economies of all nations, the institutional, political, social, and cultural fabric of every state and the rights of all your people and future generations will be impacted.”
This is exactly the clarity we need now from governments and people in power. Right now the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases keep rising rapidly. The destruction of natural habitats is continued at horrendous speed.
Despite all the beautiful words and promises from our leaders, we are still moving in the wrong direction with unimaginable pace. It may seem impossible to pull the emergency brake and yet, that is what we have to do.
But right now, I think there is an awakening going on. Even though it is slow, the pace picking up and the debate is shifting. This is thanks to a lot of different reasons, but it is a lot because of countless activists, especially young activists.
Activism works. So what I’m telling you to do now is to act, because no one is too small to make a difference. I am urging all of you to take part in the global climate strikes on September 20th and 27th.
And just one last thing… See you on the streets.