New York – Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg helped kick off a youth climate summit at the United Nations in New York on Saturday, ahead of a key gathering of world leaders next week.
“Yesterday millions of people across the globe marched and demanded real climate action, especially young people.
“We showedt that we are united and we young people are unstoppable,” Thunberg said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who will host world leaders at on Monday at a major climate summit before the presidents and prime ministers begin days of speeches at the UN General Assembly, also took part in the youth summit, urging his generation to heed the voices of the youth.
Some 700 activists were taking part in the youth summit, where young people were sharing information about the negative consequences of climate change and what they were doing in their home countries.
A running theme is the idea that the youth will be most directly affected by climate change in the future, but they are not part of the decision-making process.
The youth summit kicked off a day after hundreds of thousands of people around the world took part in strikes to raise awareness for climate change and demand policy changes.
In New York, Thunberg joined tens of thousands for protests.
U.S. President Donald Trump is not expected to attend Monday’s summit. Trump in 2017 announced he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a international deal to limit the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming.