Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on Monday urged the world's media to focus less on her story, and more on the stories of those already affected by the ongoing climate emergency.
Speaking at the conference venue for the UN climate summit as the meeting entered its second and decisive week, Thunberg said she and her fellow Fridays for Future campaigner Luisa Neubauer of Germany were ‘privileged’ and their stories ‘have been told many times over.’
‘It is people especially from the global south and from indigenous communities who need to tell their stories, because the climate emergency is not just something that will impact us in the future, it is something that has an impact on children living today,’ she said.
After Thunberg's comments, a boy from the low-lying Marshall Islands - located in the central Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines - gave a speech about the perilous situation in his country.
Experts and representatives from nearly 200 countries descended on the Spanish capital a week ago with a goal of ironing out rules to reach the agreed goal of limiting global warming under the 2015 Paris agreement.
The summit, which runs until Friday, is also an opportunity for policymakers to show they are heeding global calls for climate action, spearheaded by the 16-year-old Thunberg.
On Friday, a mass demonstration was held in Madrid to demand quick and concrete measures from the world's politicians.
The World Meteorological Organization reported last week that this decade is on track to be the hottest on record and that the world is headed towards an average temperature increase of more than 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century if urgent steps are not taken.
The goal of the Paris accord is to keep warming to below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
In August 2018, Thunberg began a ‘school strike’ outside the Swedish parliament which inspired a youth-led movement that has staged climate strikes across the globe under the slogan Fridays for Future.
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