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COP25: Greta Thunberg warns world leaders about climate inaction

World running out of time to keep global warming below 1.5 C agreed to in Paris Agreement

Greta Thunberg in front of Swedish parliament.

Greta Thunberg in front of Swedish parliament. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg gave a speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) on Wednesday (Dec. 11), accusing governments of misleading people instead of taking the lead on urgent climate issues.

Thunberg had just been named Time's Person of the Year for her relentless advocacy on the looming climate crisis and her Fridays for Future movement that inspired more than 4 million people to join a global climate strike in September.

At the COP25, Thunberg gave a straightforward speech urging governments to set ambitious targets to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She also expressed hope that more people would become aware of climate issues.

"The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like the real action is happening, when in fact almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR," she said. She later stated that countries should set a realistic annual reduction rate for greenhouse gases before the warming temperatures trigger an irreversible climate disaster.

According to the latest report from Future Earth, greenhouse emissions are increasing rather than decreasing. As a result, the rise of sea levels has accelerated, extreme weather has become more frequent, and biodiversity is on the decline.

Thunberg ended her speech with a final message: "In just three weeks, we will enter a new decade, a decade that will define our future, but right now we are desperate for any sign of hope. But I'm telling you, there is hope. I have seen it. It comes from the people. The people start to wake up and they are ready to change."

See the full video here.