TEENAGE climate change activist Greta Thunberg has accused world leaders of stealing her childhood.
In an impassioned and angry speech at the UN climate action summit, the 16-year-old told delegates they would never be forgiven if they failed to tackle the crisis.
She said: ‘You come to us young people for hope — how dare you? You have stolen my dreams, my childhood with your empty words.
‘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 the fairy tale of endless economic growth. How dare you?
‘How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.’
The Swedish teenager, who has inspired climate strikes around the world, was stony-faced as she saw Donald Trump arrive.
It was not clear whether the US president was present when she told politicians she did not believe they understood the situation, because if they did and failed to act, they would be ‘evil’ and she refused to believe that.
Ms Thunberg also warned the situation could not be solved by ‘business as usual’ and some technological solutions.
‘The eyes of all future generations are on you. If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you,’ she said. ‘Right now, right here is where we draw the line. Change is coming, whether you like it or not.’
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who convened the summit to urge action on tackling emissions, welcomed the young protesters.
‘My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change. The climate crisis is caused by us and the solutions must come from us,’ he said.
The UN estimates there has to be up to a five-fold increase in efforts to cut greenhouse gases and prevent temperatures rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
More than 60 world leaders are set to speak, including Boris Johnson. Mr Trump listened as German leader Angela Merkel spoke, then left without saying anything.