6 Greta Thunberg Climate Change Speeches That'll Fire You Up
If you've kept up with recent news surrounding climate solutions, then you know about the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who's become a household name. She started gaining public attention in August 2018 when she organized school strikes outside of Swedish Parliament, protesting its inaction in response to climate change. Setting the stage for students' recurring Friday for Future protests, she's sparked a worldwide movement that's only continuing to grow. And watching Greta Thunberg's climate change speeches will make you want to join her.
From her first TED Talk in December of 2018 to her latest speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, Thunberg has demanded that people in power put the wellbeing of the planet and humanity above economic interests. Most recently at the summit on Monday, she told world leaders,
"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."
Whether she's explaining the toll climate change is taking on young people, or calling out leaders for not prioritizing climate change solutions, Thunberg is reminding the world that this issue requires action now, not tomorrow. And if you're wondering what these calls to action look like, here are six of Thunberg's speeches that'll fire you up.
1. TEDxStockholm - December 2018
After rocking the Swedish government by starting a series of protests, Thunberg gained international recognition and was invited to be a speaker on the TED Talk stage. Less than a year after this, she led more than 1 million students and adults in the Global Climate Strike. During her TED talk the year prior, she said,
"What we do or don't do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. What we do or don't do right now, me and my generation can't undo in the future."
2. The World Economic Forum - January 2019
At the annual World Economic Forum Meeting, Thunberg wasted no time and started with, "Our house is on fire." She spoke to forum in the Swiss town of Davos, demanding that they use their economic funding to save the planet.
"There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Now we all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the future living conditions for humankind, or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me."
3. Brussels Economic & Social Committee - February 2019
Thunberg addressed policy makers in Brussels about the role this generation plays in fighting climate change. She said that while many politicians and policymakers are saying that it's up to children to save the world, there isn't enough time to rely on the children. Instead, the adults in power need to take action.
“We know that most politicians don’t want to talk to us. Good. We don’t want to talk to them either. We want them to talk to the scientists instead. Listen to them. Because we are just repeating what they are saying and have been saying for decades.”
4. European Parliament Meeting - April 2019
Thunberg spoke to the European Parliament and urged its leaders to consider an entirely new way of living to try and reverse the damage climate change has caused.
“You need to listen to us — we who cannot vote. You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren.”
5. National Assembly In Paris - July 2019
At the National Assembly in Paris, Thunberg told national leaders that people were getting angry about her speaking on the facts of climate change. Instead of getting angry though, she said, people need to start doing something about them.
"You cannot solve the crisis without treating it as a crisis, without seeing the full picture. You cannot leave the responsibility to individuals, politicians, the market or other parts of the world to take. This has to include everything and everyone."
6. Climate Action Summit - September 2019
In her speech at the Climate Action Summit, Thunberg embraced the anger and betrayal she felt as a citizen of the world and warned leaders that change was coming whether they were ready to accept it or not.
"You are failing us, but 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."
Thunberg is just one of the many young people taking center stage and fighting for what leaders are refusing to give them. You can find inspiration in Thunberg and others like her, and all that's left to do after that is take action.