Greta Thunberg criticises world leaders for 'acting like children' at Bristol climate change protest

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has addressed protestors at a climate change rally in Bristol - and criticised world leaders for “acting like children”.

The march has attracted thousands of protestors, including schoolchildren, to the city’s College Green.

An estimated 30,000 people gathered to march through the city on Friday.

After arriving in the city by train at Bristol Temple Meades train station, Thunberg travelled to the city centre by electric car.

Greta Thunberg addressed protestors at the Bristol Youth 4 Climate march on Friday. (PA/SWNS)
A huge crowd gathers in front of the Council House in Bristol on Friday, where climate campaigner Greta Thunberg gave a speech to climate change protestors. (SWNS)

Asked why she had chosen to visit Bristol particularly, she said: “Many different reasons, the movement is very strong here and I had contact with people who were here.”

She added that she hoped the event would be a “gathering of people standing together in solidarity”.

Read more: Greta Thunberg climate march in Bristol so big it 'could be unsafe for children'

Thunberg took to the stage to chants of “Greta, Greta” from the children gathered.

Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg in Bristol shortly before addressing thousands of activists at a climate change event in Bristol, (SWNS)

She told the crowd during her speech: “This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power.

“Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.

“So what did you do during this crucial time? I will not be silenced when the world is on fire. Our leaders are behaving like children. So it falls on us to be the adults in the room.

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest in Bristol. (PA)
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg (right) joins protestors during the Bristol climate march. (PA)

“Once again, they sweep their mess under the rug for us – young people, their children – to clean up for them.

“But we must continue and we have to be patient. Remember that the changes required will not happen overnight since the politics and solutions needs are far from sight.”

“We will not be silenced because we are the change, and change is coming whether you like it or not.

“Thank you and let’s march.”


Speaking before Thunberg addressed the crowd, student Mya-Rose Craig, also 17, called for change.

Read more: Greta Thunberg's parents 'thought her climate activism was a bad idea'

Craig was the youngest person to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol last week.

Calling for greater diversity in the climate movement, she told the crowd: “Greta, welcome to our amazing city and thank you for being with us today.

Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg arrives at Bristol Temple Meads train station. (SWNS)

“We have to engage with all of our communities in order to properly fight climate change. An unequal world can never be a sustainable one.”

After the march, Greta is due to head to the Southville area of Bristol to view a mural of herself.

The work, by local artist Jody Thomas, was previously used by Greta as her profile picture on Instagram and Facebook.

Greta Thunberg takes to the stage as environmental activists gather at College Green in Bristol. (PA)

Avon and Somerset Police said a number of road closures are in place around the city centre between 9am and 5pm to “minimise risk of harm”.

Two years ago, Greta started missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building, in what turned out to be the beginning of a huge environmental movement.

Read more: Meat Loaf denies climate change, says Greta Thunberg is 'brainwashed'

The 17-year-old become a leading voice for action on climate change, inspiring millions of students to join protests around the world.

She was named Time magazine’s Person of The Year in 2019.