Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, used her address at the Youth4Climate conference in Milan to ridicule international leaders, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Soundbites from Mr Johnson, such as “expensive bunny cuddling” and “build back better,” were used by the 18-year-old to emphasize what she termed politicians’ “empty words and promises.”
She went on to add later in the speech that change is “not only conceivable, but urgently required,” and that people should not give up hope.
Many governments have set lofty goals for reducing emissions in order to combat climate change.
Some recent statements, such as China’s pledge that it will not construct any additional coal plants overseas and the United States, the European Union, and others committing to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, are seen as signals of progress, according to analysts.
However, they warn that there are still significant obstacles to overcome.
The United Kingdom, for example, has committed to reducing emissions by 78 percent by 2035, compared to 1990 levels. However, the government’s present plans are expected to produce fewer than a fourth of the required savings.
At the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow in November, Mr Johnson has stated that he will press for action on coal, climate, automobiles, and trees in particular.