Greta Thunberg and fellow climate activists spoke at a youth climate summit in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday, reprimanding world leaders for their empty words and promises to tackle global warming in the last 30 years since the Earth Summit.
Thunberg mocked the global leaders by reciting their expressions on the climate crisis in her speech.
“This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: words. Words that sound great but so far have led to no action. Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises,” she said. “Of course we need constructive dialogue, but they have now had 30 years of blah, blah blah. And where has this led us?”
400 climate activists from across the world gathered at the three-day Youth4Climate forum, two days ahead of an event for ministers to convene in a final meeting before the COP26 climate talks in Glasglow.
The youth attendees will come up with a list of recommendations for COP26, but participants are doubting the intentions behind the gathering and demanding for more accountability from leaders.
Vanessa Nakate, an activist from Uganda, said the developing world is still waiting on the financial promises made a decade ago to help them reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the climate crisis.
“There is far too little evidence of the $100 billion per year that was promised to help climate vulnerable countries to meet this challenge. But those funds were promised to arrive by 2020 and we are still waiting,” Nakate said, CNN reported.
She emphasized the effects of climate change on Africa, and the irony “given that Africa is the lowest emitter of CO2 emissions of any continent except Antarctica,” Reuters reported.
Nakate was in tears after her emotional speech, receiving comfort from Thunberg.