The 16-year old Swedish climate activist who arrived in New York earlier this week after a zero carbon two week trip in a sailboat across the Atlantic has led a “strike” outside the United Nation Headquarters to raise awareness about the imminent dangers of Climate Change.
Greta Thunberg was on Wednesday greeted by a flotilla of boats near New York harbour as she arrived on an emission free racing yacht that took her across the Atlantic from Europe. The action is part of a series of youth events that will culminate during the Climate Change Summit on September 23.
She’s a petite 16-year old powerhouse that has grabbed global attention.
Leading this group of student activists – a younger generation that has fully grasped the climate crises facing the planet.
On Wednesday she sailed into the Big Apple after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in an emission free vessel – refusing to fly due to the carbon footprint of the plane.
“The climate and ecological crisis is a global crisis and the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced and if we don’t manage to work together to cooperate, and to work together despite our differences then we will fail. So we need to stand together and support each other and to take action because otherwise it might be too late. Let’s not wait any longer, let’s do it now.”
With a throng of people surrounding her, she has inspired youth activists around the world after starting a solitary protest outside the Swedish Parliament that has snowballed into a global movement. One she’s brought to doorstep of the UN, a place that will convene an all-important Climate Change Summit later in September where the UN Secretary General is seeking commitments that will raise ambition. With youth activists planning a massive Climate Change “Strike” on September 20 – just ahead of the UN Summit on the 23rd.
Sophie Anderson is among them.
“We stand united. Youth across the world and across the country are coming together to strike on the 20th. And we’re asking you – everyone here and everyone watching – no matter how old you are or where you come from to join us to strike for our future, to strike for a better world, and to strive for climate justice.”
17 year-old Xiye Bastiva is one the strike’s organisers.
“September 20 is special because we recognise that the climate crisis is a generational issue but it requires intergenerational cooperation. We as youth cannot vote and you know that. Our civic duty is to go to school so we are disrupting that so that you pay attention to the crisis that we’re going through.”
As world leaders are pressured to bring concrete plans to next month’s Summit, with climate skeptic U.S. President Donald Trump coming in for some criticism from some of the protesters here.
This is what some people had to say, “Although I see that there are so many people already fighting for this cause I don’t understand there are world leaders that are not doing anything.”
“He epitomizes the worst of crony capitalism, that for me is horrifying at a time when we need integrity, leadership and some kind of really deep compassion for all the creature, every living thing. So I feel terrible as a US citizen because he is the President sitting there but no – he must be impeached.”
“I think it’s important for everybody, for children, mothers, adults, grandmas for everybody to become aware of the climate crisis and how each one of us can influence others to raise awareness and to do something for our planet because we only have one.”
A global emergency that requires all hands on deck – and its these young people who are pointing the way.