‘The world is on fire,’ Greta Thunberg tells UK climate rally

BRISTOL, England (Reuters) – Greta Thunberg denounced politicians and the media on Friday for failing her generation, saying the world is on fire but they are ignoring a looming climate cataclysm.

A placard is pictured during a youth climate protest in Bristol, Britain, Britain February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Several thousand people attended a rally in the southwestern English city of Bristol to see Thunberg, the teenage activist who has reprimanded governments across the world over climate change.

Known simply as Greta, 17-year-old Thunberg has captured the imagination of many young people with impassioned demands for world leaders to take urgent action.

“I will not be silenced while the world is on fire – will you?” said Thunberg.

“This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power. Basically nothing is being done … despite all the beautiful words.”

Supporters held placards reading: “Change the politics not the climate”, “The ocean is rising so are we!” and “At this point education is pointless.”

Thunberg rose to prominence when she starting missing lessons two years ago to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. Since then, she has become the world’s most prominent climate activist.

She has repeatedly upbraided world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump for ignoring the perils of climate change, though Trump has dismissed what he calls the climate “prophets of doom”.

“Our house is still on fire,” Thunberg told the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. “Your inaction is fuelling the flames.”

Thunberg has been in Britain since last weekend. On Tuesday she visited the University of Oxford, where she met Malala Yousafzai, the 22-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner and campaigner for girls’ education, who is studying there.

Thunberg called Yousafzai her role model, while Yousafzai said on Twitter: “She’s the only friend I’d skip school for.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Susan Fenton and Frances Kerry

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