Teen activist Thunberg urges leaders to admit climate crisis

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is urging world leaders to acknowledge that global warming "is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced."

BERLIN -- Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg called on world leaders Tuesday to acknowledge the seriousness of global warming and that not enough is being done to curb it.

Speaking at a conference in the Austrian capital, Vienna, Thunberg suggested it was wrong to portray the worldwide shift necessary to rein in climate change as "primarily an opportunity to create new green jobs, new businesses, green economic growth," as some political and business leaders have done.

Thunberg has often struck a much darker tone than some of her fellow activists and refused to hold back from criticizing her audiences.

"Politicians one second say climate change is very important, it is the most important topic and we are going to do everything we can to stop it," she said. "And the next second they want to expand airports, build new coal power plants and motorways. And then they fly off in a private jet to attend a meeting on the other side of the world."

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has invited world leaders to a climate summit in New York in September, said countries aren't doing enough to meet the Paris climate agreement's goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times.

Guterres called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, saying taxpayers' money shouldn't be used to harm the planet.

"I believe that as taxpayers we would prefer to see our money back than to see our money used to destroy the world," said Guterres.