Thousands of youth climate activists marched through the streets of Milan last week demanding world leaders meet their pledges to the Paris Climate Agreement and keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The protest came at the end of a three-day youth climate conference, ahead of the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Activists at the Youth4Climate conference slammed political inaction on the climate crisis and world leaders’ vague pledges to reduce carbon emissions.
“Historically, Africa is responsible for only 3% of global emissions,” said Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate.
“And yet Africans are already suffering some of the most brutal impacts fueled by the climate crisis.” Swedish activist Greta Thunberg mocked the jargon politicians use to talk about climate and the environment. “Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: words — words that sound great but so far has led to no action,” said Thunberg. “Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises.”
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