'Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and 15 other children filed a complaint with the United Nations Monday alleging that five of the world's major economies have violated their human rights by not taking adequate action to stop the unfolding climate crisis.
The complaint was filed a short time after Thunberg delivered an impassioned rebuke to world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit.
"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words — and yet, I'm one of the lucky ones," Thunberg said Monday. "People are suffering, people are dying."
The petition names five countries -- Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey -- which they say have failed to uphold their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a 30-year-old human rights treaty which is the most widely ratified in history.
The filing comes as the United Nations hosts a Climate Action Summit on the first day of its General Assembly, where dozens of world leaders are unveiling plans for reducing their countries' carbon footprints.
At a press conference across the street from the summit, Thunberg and the other children joining the petition expressed their blunt frustration with the lack of urgency that world leaders have shown in fighting climate change.
"The message that we want to send is that we've had enough," Thunberg said.
Carl Smith, a member of the indigenous Yupiaq tribe who lives in Akiak, Alaska, explained how warming has imperiled the subsistence hunting and fishing that his community depends on.
He blamed the inaction from leaders on greed.
"I think they're acting slowly because they don't want to lose money," Smith said. "And I think they should go see what [climate change] is doing to little villages and cities."
Read more: Greta Thunberg and 15 other children filed a complaint against five countries over the climate crisis (no they didn't - the adults controlling them did)
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