Greta Thunberg rails at world leaders at UN General Assembly: 'You have stolen my dreams and childhood'

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on Monday railed at world leaders at the United Nations, saying they have stolen her dreams and childhood,  forced children to take the reins in the fight against climate change and did not react to decades of scientific warnings. 

“My message is that we will be watching you,” Thunberg said during the U.N. General Assembly climate summit. “This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”

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She also said that world leaders "have stolen my dreams, my childhood, with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones."

"People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of the mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you,” Thunberg added.

The 16-year-old started demonstrating outside the Swedish Parliament last year, sparking nationwide, youth-led climate protests. The Nobel Peace Prize candidate traveled by boat to attend the U.N. climate summit. 

On Monday, she also called out world leaders for saying they’re “doing enough” when the “politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight,” and said they have ignored more than 30 years of “crystal clear” science warning of the impacts of climate change. 

“You say you hear us, and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am I do not want to believe that,” Thunberg said. “Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act you would be evil, and that I refuse to believe.” 

Thunberg testified before Congress last week. Instead of giving a speech, however, she submitted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Global Warming as her testimony, and urged lawmakers to “listen to the scientists.” 

Hundreds of thousands of protesters in major cities across the world on Friday participated in global climate strikes ahead of the U.N. summit.

--This report was updated at 1:23 p.m.