The teenager behind the school climate strikes has told the European Union to spend less time worrying about Brexit and focus on the future of the planet.
Greta Thunberg, 16, delivered a speech to a collection of MEPs and EU officials in Stasbourg, telling them “our house is falling down” but political leaders are not acting with the necessary urgency to deal with an upcoming climate crisis.
“You wouldn’t be arguing about phasing out coal in 15 or 11 years.
“If our house was falling apart you wouldn’t be celebrating that one single nation like Ireland may soon divest from fossil fuels.”
In a forthright and wide-ranging attack on humanity’s response to the problem, she chided the media, politicians and business leaders for failing to give the issue the prominence it merits.
As she outlined the scope of the problem, Thunberg choked up as she said: “The extinction rate is up to six times faster than what is considered normal, with up to 200 species becoming extinct every single day
“Erosion of fertile topsoil, deforestation of the rainforest, toxic air pollution, loss of insects and wildlife, acidification of our oceans – these are all disastrous trends being accelerated by a way of life that we here in our financially fortunate part of the world see as our right to simply carry on.”
The statement, like many others in her 10-minute speech, was met with loud applause from the gathered officials.
Since then she has spoken at a host of high profile occasions and venues, including the UN climate change summit and the World Economic Forum.
Next week she will be in London to address MPs at a special parliamentary reception in Westminster.