Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg said in Madrid that young people will do everything possible so the climate crisis “cannot be ignored”.
Speaking at a press conference in the Spanish capital on Friday she added that although the movement has raised public awareness of the problem “there is no victory” because CO2 emissions have continued to rise, Efe news reported.
Greta, 16, spoke alongside other young activists in the Fridays For Future movement from around the world, before participating in a march through the centre of the city, which was expected to draw thousands of people.
She said the movement is “really gaining momentum” and “we are getting bigger and bigger and our voices are being heard more and more but of course that does not translate into political action”.
The teenager added that people should not “listen to me before anyone else” and described herself as “just an activist a climate activist a small part of a very big movement”.
The young activist, who was a candidate for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said public awareness about the issue has risen but that it is not enough without political action.
“I sincerely hope that the Cop25 will lead to something concrete and that will lead to also an increase in awareness among people in general and that the world leaders the people in power grasp the urgency of the climate crisis because right now it doesn’t seem like they are,” she added.
“So I really hope that and I know we will do everything we can to make sure that this is something that cannot be ignored anymore, that they cannot just hide away anymore.”
She said Cop25 should not be ignored and added: “We cannot afford anymore days going by without real action being taken.”
“We have been striking now for over a year and still basically nothing has happened,” she continued.
“The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power and we cannot go on like this, it is not a sustainable solution that children skip school we cannot go on like that.
“We don’t want to continue so we would love some action from the people in power because people are suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency today and we cannot wait any longer.”
Greta said that although the school strike movement has achieved a lot “it’s nowhere near enough”.
“Frankly the CO2 emissions are not reducing, they are in fact increasing 2019 they will increase 0.6 per cent so of course there is no victory because the only thing we want to see is real action and real action has not been happening,” she added.
The young Swedish activist has become a benchmark among millions of young people who are mobilising around the world and have followed her example of striking from their studies on Fridays calling for measures to combat the climate crisis.
It was initiated by Greta in the summer of 2018 when she carried out protests in front of the Swedish parliament.
The young activist appeared tired after an intense day and an overnight journey by train from Lisbon in Portugal.
As soon as she arrived in Madrid on Friday morning she presented herself unexpectedly at the climate summit, causing a media stir.