2019 “How Dare You” speech to World leaders
This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean.
Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones.
People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.
How dare you!
For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
You say you “hear” us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.
The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.
50% may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us – we who have to live with the consequences.
How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business-as-usual and some technical solutions.
With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than eight and a half years. There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures today. Because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.
You are failing us.
But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you.
And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you.
We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.
The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.
“Blah, Blah, Blah” speech 2021
There is no Planet B. There is no planet blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. This is not about some expensive politically correct green act of bunny hugging or blah blah blah build back better blah blah blah green economy blah blah blah blah blah blah net zero by 2050 blah blah blah net zero blah blah blah climate neutral blah blah
blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words.
Words that sound great. But so far has led to no action. Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises. Of course we need constructive dialogue, but they’ve now had 30 years of blah blah blah and where has that led us? Over 50% of all our CO2 emissions have occurred since 1990, and a third since 2005.
All this while the media is reporting on what the leaders say that they are going to do instead of what they are actually doing, and then not holding leaders accountable for their action or rather inaction. And don’t get me wrong we can still do this.
Change is not only possible but urgently necessary. Right now we are still very much speeding in the wrong direction. 2021 is currently projected to experience the second highest emission rise ever. Only about two percent of government recovery spendings have been allocated to clean energy measures. And according to a new report by the UN, global emissions are expected to rise by 16 by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
Our leaders intentional lack of action is a betrayal towards all present and future generations.
The people in power cannot claim that they are trying, because they are clearly not. If this is what they consider to be climate action then we don’t want it. They invite Cherokee young people to meetings like this to pretend that they are listening to us. But they are not.
They are clearly not listening to us, and they never have. Just look at the numbers, look at the statistics. The emissions are still rising the science doesn’t lie. But of course we can still turn this around.
It is entirely possible it will take drastic annual emission cuts unlike anything the world has ever seen. And as we don’t have the technological solutions that alone can deliver anything close to that that means we will have to change.
We can no longer let the people in power decide what is politically possible or not. We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah blah blah. Hope
is telling the truth. Hope is taking action and hope always comes from the people.
Did you hear me?
What do we want?
When do we want it?
What do we want?
When do we want it?
The leaders like to say we can do this. They obviously don’t mean it.
But we do. We can do this. I’m absolutely convinced that we can, but it starts with the people. It starts with facing the reality of the situation, as uncomfortable as it may be (for) you.
2020 Speech to the European Parliament
My name is Greta Thunberg. I am a climate activist and a part of the Fridays for future movement and for over one and a half years we have been sacrificing our education to protest against your inaction. And in September, over seven and a half million people all around the world took to the streets demanding you to unite behind the science in order to give us a safe future.
Then, in November 2019 the European Parliament declared climate and environment emergency. You said that the EU would lead against the existential threat of the climate crisis and this was wonderful news.
When your children set off the fire alarm you went outside took a look and smell the air. And you stated that, yes, the house is actually burning. This was no false alarm. But then you went back inside, finished your dinner, and watched your movie, and went to bed without even calling the fire department. I’m sorry, but this makes no sense at all.
When your house is on fire, you don’t wait a few more years to start putting it out. And yet, this is what the Commission are proposing today when the EU presents this climate law and net zero by 2050. You indirectly admit surrender, that you are giving up giving up on the Paris agreement, giving up on your promises and giving up on doing everything you possibly can to ensure a safe future for your own children.
Because this law is based on an insufficient CO2 budget that in reality gives us much much less than a 50% chance of limiting the global average temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, And any climate law or policy that is not based on the current best available science and does not include the global aspect of equity nor the annual emissions reductions needed, starting now, will be completely insufficient. Of course such law sends a strong signal that real, sufficient action is taking place when in fact it is not. The hard truth is that neither the awareness nor the politics needed are anywhere in sight. We are still in a crisis that has never once been treated as a crisis.
We do have lots of brilliant solutions. We have unprecedented wealth and financial assets. We have a lot of goodwill and countless of people ready to do everything they can to help. What we do not have is awareness leadership. And above all, Time, All rapidly disappearing carbon budgets are the bottom line that sums up the current best available climate science, no matter how insufficient they may be, as they don’t include tipping points, most
feedback loops, equity, nor additional warming hidden by air pollution.
They are still the most reliable road map we have to safeguard with future living conditions for humankind, but the contents of these budgets have never been taken into account. In today’s politics, it has never been communicated in mainstream media and yet here you are trying to create laws and policies, once again ignoring it, pretending that your plan or policy disregarding the United science will somehow. So the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced, pretending that’s a law that no one has to follow is a law, and pretending that you can be a climate leader and still go on building and subsidizing new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Pretending that leaving out the global aspect of climate justice and equity won’t risk breaking up the entire Paris agreement, pretending that empty words will make this emergency go away, this must come to an end. No policy plan or deal will be nearly enough as long as you just continue to ignore the CO2 budget which applies for today.
We don’t just need goals for 2030 or 2050 we above all need them for 2020 and for every following year to come. We need to start cutting our emissions drastically, at the source, now. Your distant targets will mean nothing if high emissions continue, like today’s business as usual, even for just a few more years, because that will use up our remaining carbon budgets before you will able have the chance to deliver on your 2030 or 2050 goals.
And since these negative emissions technologies that this law of folly relies on don’t exist today at scale, and perhaps never will, we simply need to change our behaviour, change our society, and this is the uncomfortable truth, that you cannot escape. no matter how badly you want to or how hard you try. And the longer you keep running away from that truth, the bigger your betrayal towards your own children.
The EU must lead the way. You have the moral obligation to do so and you have a unique economical and political opportunity to become a real climate leader. You yourselves declared that we are in the climates and environment emergency. You said this was an existential threat. Now you must prove that you mean it and we will not be satisfied with anything less than a science-based pathway, which gives us the best possible chance to safeguard the future living conditions for Humanity and life on Earth as we know it.
Anything else is surrender. This climate law is surrender because Nature doesn’t bargain, and you cannot make deals with Physics, and we will not allow you to surrender on our future.