Listen to Greta Thunberg’s Searing Testimony to the United Nations

“You are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.”

(Drew Angerer/Getty)

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a searing statement to world leaders at Monday’s United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.

“You are still not mature enough to tell it like it is,” Thunberg said, her voice shaking. “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.”

On Friday, millions of people around the world participated in the Global Climate Strike to protest governments failing to respond to climate change. Thunberg pioneered the school climate strike movement when she began protesting outside the Swedish parliament with a sign that read Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate). Now, students around the world skip school on Fridays to protest climate change, driven by the belief that education will be meaningless in an uninhabitable world.

Last week, in lieu of testifying before Congress, Thunberg handed lawmakers a copy of the 2018 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the effects of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The World Meteorological Association reported Sunday that the five-year period from 2015 to 2019 was the warmest on record, averaging 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

“We will not let you get away with this,” Thunberg said. “Right here, right now, is where we draw the line.”

Watch Thunberg’s testimony below:

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.