Greta is getting impatient.
On Friday, a reported 500,000-person climate change action protest swelled in the streets of Madrid. The protesters – many of them skipping school as part of the “School Strike for Climate” movement – were there to pressure world leaders attending the COP25 conference to take meaningful action on climate change.
This wasn’t a kumbaya protest. Thunberg and her fellow youth activists seem frustrated by sluggish and ineffectual efforts of adults, and are not willing to hand out self-congratulation for a renewed wave of protests, either.
“The only thing we want to see is real action,” Thunberg said at a panel on Friday, per Reuters. “So we have achieved a lot, but if you look at it from a certain point of view, we have achieved nothing.”
Thunberg is referring to the fact that global emissions continue to rise, and that the time is running out for world powers to commit to concrete steps for reduction before the Paris Climate Agreement is supposed to go into effect in 2020.
“We are getting bigger and bigger and our voices are being heard more and more, but of course that does not translate into political action,” Thunberg said.
Thunberg may have sparked a global school climate strike movement, but she doesn’t see it as something she and her peers can and should have to carry on until the adults quit dragging their feet. She said that continuing to ask kids to skip school is “not a sustainable solution.”
“We don’t want to continue. We would love some action from people in power,” Thunberg said. “People are suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency today and we cannot wait any longer.”
Some of her fellow youth activists also had harsh words for the conference. According to Earther, teen activist Vanessa Nakate called out the hypocrisy of the COP25’s sponsorship by the fossil fuel industry while speaking to activists.
“I think they are being hypocrites,” Nakate said. “They’re pretending. They’re trying to clean up their mess by making us think that they’re helping us, so I don’t really trust in their sponsorship in the COP25.”
The message is clear: adults, get your act together and do your jobs.