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Greta Thunberg, Swedish environmentalist (left) speaks at a protest during the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday. Photo: Jonne Roriz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Climate activist Greta Thunberg joined protesters Monday at a demonstration outside the COP26 conference to call out world leaders for failing to meet their goals to address global warming.

What they're saying: "No more blah blah blah," said Thunberg, whose solo climate strikes in 2018 gained international attention, said outside the summit. "No more whatever the f--k they're doing inside there."

Driving the news: An open letter from Thunberg and fellow youth climate activists Vanessa Nakate, Dominika Lasota and Mitzi Tan drew over 1.2 million signatures as protests played out on Monday.

"This is not a drill. It's code red for the Earth. Millions will suffer as our planet is devastated — a terrifying future that will be created, or avoided, by the decisions you make. You have the power to decide."
From the open letter

Worth noting: Thunberg's words were later invoked by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said "all the promises will be nothing but blah, blah, blah, to coin a phrase, unless we get real," per the New York Times.

  • Thunberg was not invited to speak at the summit, unlike previous UN events.
  • She told the BBC last week she believes summit organizers did not invite many young speakers because they were "scared" they'd look bad if they invited "too many 'radical' young people."

The big picture: Youth activists, who have led the charge in demanding greater action on climate change, have long criticized governments' failure to cut carbon emissions and fossil fuels.

  • At COP26, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he stood with the people in the streets on action against climate change.
  • "The climate action army — led by young people — is unstoppable," he said. "They are larger.  They are louder. And, I assure you, they are not going away."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What moves the climate communications needle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new paper finds that words used in news stories to label climate change are less consequential than whether stories emphasize harm or solutions.

Driving the news: Researchers tested engagement with "climate crisis" and "climate emergency" — phrasing that has gained media traction — and "climate change."

Updated 2 mins ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 24 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

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