Wilderness Policy

‘You are stealing your children’s future’

Greta Thunberg is a 15 year old that became a symbol for youth activism for skipping school to protest about climate change. She spoke at the United Nations COP24 conference in Poland last week, calling for more action.

Please also read: Help Europe stay Wild

Climate Change is a Crisis

Her speech challenged world leaders to face the current climate crisis, and to step up and show the world we care about our children. ‘You are not mature enough to tell it how it is’, she called to climate negotiators and the 190 countries represented at the conference.

We need to stop sacrificing our planet and biodiversity for the comfort and luxury of  a few. Thunberg rightly points out that our children are the future. ‘You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.’ We need to act now, and we’re never too small to make a difference.

Greta Thunberg is an inspiration to us all. If you want to help our next generation, the European Wilderness Society is also currently raising money to create educational material for school children. You can donate here.

Read Greta Thunberg’s full speech here: 

My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old. I am from Sweden.

I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now. 

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do.

But I’ve learned you are never too small to make a difference.

And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.

You are not mature enough to tell it like is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. 

Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.

Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act.

You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.

We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.

We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again.

We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time.

We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.

Thank you

Greta Thunberg

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