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Greta Thunberg told protesters at a global climate change summit in Spain that ‘change is coming, whether you like it or not’.
The 16-year-old activist recently made a transatlantic trip from the US to Portugal, to attend the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid.
While attending a meeting in the Complutense University of Madrid at the social summit for the climate – taking place between December 2-13, during COP25 – the Swedish teen said: ‘I don’t want to be the only voice of youth at the summit.’
After arriving in the city on Friday, December 6, Thunberg joined protesters on one of many marches organised throughout the day – around 15,000 people are estimated to have taken part.
In a brief speech, Thunberg said, as per the MailOnline:
The current world leaders are betraying us and we will not let that happen anymore. Change is coming whether you like it or not because we have no other choice.
This comes after the 16-year-old said the global surge of school strikes for climate change haven’t translated into action from governments. In the four years since the Paris agreement – a commitment from UN nations to combat climate change – was signed, greenhouse gas emissions have actually risen by 4%.
While young people will continue to protest, the activist said they want to stop – but only if their governments show a willingness to act.
Thunberg said, as per The Guardian:
I’m just an activist and we need more activists. Some people are afraid to change – they try so desperately to silence us. We can’t go on like this; it is not sustainable that children skip school and we don’t want to continue – we would love some action from the people in power. People are suffering and dying today. We can’t wait any longer.
After the COP25’s location was changed from Chile at the last minute, the teen managed to hitch an eco-friendly ride on a yacht from New York to Lisbon. When she arrived at Santo Amaro Port in, the activist was greeted by adoring supporters.
Thunberg told the crowds, as per Newsround:
We need to work together to make sure that we secure future living conditions for humankind, and that we fight for not only ourselves, but for our children and for our grandchildren and for every single living being on Earth. And everyone has to do everything they can in order to make sure they are on the right side of history.
It feels so amazing to be home back in Europe. I have been on quite an adventure, of course I, as well as the other climate activists, we will not stop, we will continue to do whatever we can, continue to travel around, and to put pressure on people in power and to make sure that they prioritise this the highest.
And eventually we will be going to COP25 and we will continue the fight there to make sure that within those walls, the voices of the people are being heard.
The 16-year-old is expected to attend a number of events over the coming week, including one on Wednesday – accompanied by Harrison Ford.
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