After an international strike on Friday that saw millions protesting climate change, on Saturday, 700 youth activists gathered at New York’s United Nations (UN) headquarters for the first UN Youth Climate Summit. Here, a panel preceded a week of UN meetings centered on climate change, where world leaders will discuss climate control actions.
Kicking things off was Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old youth activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee from Sweden, who will also be appearing in front of the UN General Assembly today.
Three additional youth activists spoke on a panel including Argentine climate activist Bruno Rodriguez, Founder & President of Nelig Group and RootEd Africa Wanjūhī Njoroge and Fijian climate activist Komal Karishma Kumar. Presiding over the panel was UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Yesterday millions of people across the globe marched and demanded real climate action, especially young people,” Thunberg said. “We showed that we are united and we young people are unstoppable.”
Guterres acknowledged the lack of movement on the part of older generations, urging on youth rallying for climate control. “I encourage you to keep your initiative, keep your mobilization, and more and more to hold my generation accountable.”
Here, you can watch the panel in its entirety through Euronews’ coverage:
In a Saturday interview with the Associated Press, Thunberg said, “The arguments for continuing to not do anything and the empty words and promises and lies are the same. Some countries are more extreme than others but it’s not much different.”
She continued, “…giving up cannot be an option.”
Thunberg’s UN Debut: Sources
Euronews: Greta Thunberg Speaks at UN Youth Climate Summit
DK: Greta Thunberg Kicks Off UN Youth Climate Summit
AP News: Youth Leaders at UN Demand Bold Climate Change Action
CBC: Greta Thunberg, Other Activists, Deliver Messages at UN Youth Climate Summit