Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg delivered a fiery speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday, telling world leaders, "How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood."
What are the details?
"We will be watching you," the teenager said. "How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I'm one of the lucky ones."
Through tears, Thunberg continued, "People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth."
She explained to the forum, "If you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil, and that I refuse to believe."
Teenage climate change activist @GretaThunberg opened the United Nations Climate Action Summit with an angry condem… https://t.co/IKnM3jEqQG— Reuters Top News (@Reuters Top News)1569274500.0
How was her speech received?
Thunberg received applause from the audience at the U.N., and was showered with praise from several Democratic presidential candidates afterward. Meanwhile, critics voiced concern that the teen was being exploited and used as a political pawn.
"What a disgrace that it takes a 16-year-old to tell world leaders what they won't acknowledge: We cannot continue with this type of ruthless capitalism that is destroying our planet," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) exclaimed on Twitter, sharing a clip of Thunberg's speech.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) also both retweeted the teenager's remarks, calling for action to address the so-called climate crisis.
The Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra tweeted out an excerpt of Thunberg's scolding of the U.N., calling her speech "absolute madness." while David Harsanyi wrote in The Federalist that the young Swede had been "indoctrinated."
The Hill reported that Thunberg has "become a leading face of the movement to address climate change and has become a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize."
Thunberg arrived in New York weeks ago, after sailing across the Atlantic on a "zero-carbon yacht." She has since participated in the several press conferences, and rallied at climate change demonstrations during her stay in the U.S.