Teen climate activist warns EU that it's time to panic

Young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a special meeting of the Environment Committee at the European Parliament in Strasbo

Young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a special meeting of the Environment Committee at the European Parliament in Strasbo

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg arrives to speak to the media at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Eastern France, Tuesday April 16

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg arrives to speak to the media at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Eastern France, Tuesday April 16

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg looks up at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Eastern France, Tuesday April 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Jea

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg looks up at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Eastern France, Tuesday April 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Jea

BRUSSELS (AP) — Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg says time is running out to halt climate change and she's urging European politicians "to panic."

Thunberg told EU lawmakers Tuesday: "I want you to act as if the house is on fire."

She said that "if our house was falling apart you wouldn't hold three emergency Brexit summits and no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and environment."

During a speech met with a standing ovation, Thunberg fought back tears as she warned about rapid species extinctions, soil erosion, deforestation and the pollution of oceans.

In a reference to the international funding effort launched to rebuild the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, she urged the lawmakers to use "cathedral thinking" to tackle climate change.