Greta Thunberg: Youth activist demands COP26 world leaders 'face up to climate emergency'

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Four youth climate change activists including Greta Thunberg have penned an open letter to world leaders on the morning of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The letter is calling on world leaders to "face up to the climate emergency", adding that young people feel betrayed by "our governments' failure to cut carbon emission", and lays out a five-point plan to deliver a climate-safe future.

Since it was made public on Avaaz the letter has been signed by more than a million people.

"Right now world leaders are meeting for historic climate talks, but pledges without real action won't cut it anymore," Ms Thunberg said.

"We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5C and yet governments everywhere are still accelerating the crisis, spending billions on fossil fuels.

COP26 latest updates as climate summit begins in Glasgow

"We urge you to face up to the climate emergency and keep the precious goal of 1.5°C alive with immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions, unlike anything the world has ever seen. There is still time to avoid the worst consequences if we are prepared to change."

Ms Thunberg has signed the letter alongside 24-year-old Ugandan climate activist, Vanessa Nakate; Polish campaigner Dominika Lasota, 20, and 24-year-old Filipino activist Mitzi Tan - who have outlined a five-point plan to address climate change.

Ms Nakate questioned "why is it so easy for leaders to open new coal power plants, build pipelines and frack gas - destroying our planet and harming the present and future of their children", while Ms Lasota said that governments "cannot keep opening new coal mines, oil fields and gas pipelines".

Ms Tan added: "I don't have hopes. I have demands. I have expectations: we need deep systemic change. Now."

The letter directly appeals to world leaders, saying: "This is not a drill. It's code red for the Earth.

"Millions will suffer as our planet is devastated -- a terrifying future that will be created, or avoided, by the decisions you make. You have the power to decide."

The open letter is launched at the start of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.

The four climate activists plan to deliver the global call to governments directly throughout the two-week-long conference.

On the first day of the conference, Ms Thunberg joined protesters in Glasgow, where she addressed the crowd.

"Inside COP there are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously, pretending to take the presence seriously of the people who are being affected by the climate crisis today," she said to a boisterous crowd.

"Change is not going to come from inside there, that is not leadership. This is leadership. This is what leadership looks like.

"We say no more blah blah blah. No more exploitation of people, nature and the planet. No more exploitation. No more blah blah blah. No more of whatever the f*** they're doing inside there."

For full coverage of COP26, watch Climate Live on Sky channel 525.

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