Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, brought her message to North Carolina Friday -- just a few days after the U.S. announced its plans to formally withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
She said the Climate Strike marches have been ongoing for a year now and will not stop until adults start believing in the science of climate change.
“But the people in power have not yet done that,” Thunberg said Friday during a rally in Charlotte. “They continue to ignore us and to ignore the current best available science, so we have no choice but to go on for as long as it takes.
“It can be hard in times like this to find hope,” she continued. “And I can tell you I have not found much hope in politicians and corporations. It is the people who now are our biggest source of hope.”
She said while teens can’t vote and are not the ones who make the decisions that can help the planet, young people can pressure those in power, can hold adults accountable, and can spread their message to other people in the hopes of growing the movement.
The children, Thunberg said, have to be the grown ups if adults refuse to act.
“There is not enough time to wait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge because we need to tackle the climate and environmental emergency right now,” Thunberg said. “And if the adults and the people in power are too immature to realize that, then we need to let them know and we need to do it now.
"Because this is our future," she added, "and we will not let it be taken away from us.”
The Trump administration announced earlier this week that the U.S. would officially leave the Paris Climate accord on Nov. 4, 2020, which is the day after the 2020 election. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would pull out of the agreement two years ago.
The reach of Thunberg's message has been wide and offices around the world are humorously using images of the teenager to shame their employees from using plastics.
"Shame on you" one reads in front of coffee cup supplies.