Teen climate crusader Greta Thunberg delivered a powerful address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday as she reminded the world: "Our house is still on fire."
"Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else," said the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist who last year became Time magazine's youngest choice ever to be named 'Person of the Year'.
"I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them?" she asked the crowd as she spoke at the forum for the second consecutive day.
She began her nearly eight-minute long speech saying: "One year ago, I came to Davos and told you that our house is on fire. I told you I wanted you to panic. I have been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do."
"I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them?"— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) January 21, 2020
Here's a clip from my speech addressing the #WorldEconomicForum in Davos today. Full speech here: https://t.co/qAJIqYXxhd#WEF2020pic.twitter.com/8Ev3HqRY7d
"But don't worry, it's fine. When we children tell you to panic, we're not telling you to go on like before. We are not telling you to rely on technologies," she said, underscoring the immediate need of adopting an alternate lifestyle.
In an apparent rebuke to a pledge in Davos by US President Donald Trump, she said: "Planting trees is good of course, but it is nowhere near enough of what is needed, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature."
An hour before her speech, Mr Trump had announced that the United States would join an initiative to plant one trillion trees, but also spoke at length about the economic importance of oil and gas and called climate change activists the "heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers".
"We don't want a change in 2050 or 2060 or 2021 ... we want it to be done now. So either you do this or you will have to explain to your children why did you give up on 1.5 degree target," Ms Thunberg said in her address.
The Swedish teen's activism has helped inspire a global climate action movement. Last year, Ms Thunberg had made an emotional statement on at a UN summit in September, in which she had repeatedly asked world leaders: "How dare you?".
Millions of young people all over the world joined Ms Thunberg the same month in a climate strike that she led from New York.
Among the "climate heroes" being celebrated by the WEF this year are Irish teen scientist Fionn Ferreira, who created a solution for preventing micro plastics from reaching oceans, news agency Reuters reported. They also include South African climate activist Ayakha Melithafa, 17, and Canadian Autum Peltier, who has been advocating for water conservation since she was 8 years old.
(With inputs from Reuters)