Thunberg warns govts that ‘change is coming’
MADRID, Dec 7: Teen activist Greta Thunberg took her call for bold action to tackle climate change to a U.N. summit in Spain on Friday, warning world leaders that a growing youth-led protest movement meant they could no longer hide.
Accorded rock-star status by young environmental activists, the 16-year-old had crossed the Atlantic by boat to drop in on the climate talks in Madrid then join one of the Friday afternoon marches she has inspired around the world.
"The current world leaders are betraying us and we will not let that happen anymore," Thunberg said in a brief speech to the protesters, some of whom had chanted "We Love You Greta." "Change is coming whether you like it or not because we have no other choice," she said.
About 15,000 marchers took part, according to a municipal official in Madrid. Young activists formed a human shield to protect Thunberg, but the crush of onlookers was so intense that she had to be whisked to the stage at the end of the rally in a red electric car.
The media scrum that followed Thunberg underscored how an upsurge in climate activism has pushed the crisis up the agenda since the school pupil began solitary strikes outside the parliament in her native Sweden last summer. -REUTERS