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Greta Thunberg speaks at a Fridays for Future protest on March 29 in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke at the European Parliament on Tuesday, criticizing the EU for holding multiple emergency summits on Brexit but "no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and environment."

Context: Her efforts highlight the growing sense of urgency among young people on an issue that is currently at its inflection point, as politicians in some countries maintain a stark partisan divide on climate change and major oil and gas companies increase their clean energy investments.

  • Tuesday's speech came just over one month after Thunberg led the largest and most widespread demonstration on climate change since the run-up to the Paris climate summit in 2014 and 2015.

The takeaways:

  • Thunberg said that, around 2030, "an irreversible chain reaction that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it" will begin, adding that changes like a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions would be needed to avoid that outcome.
  • The young activist fought back tears as she spoke about a wide range of topics: an increasing extinction rate, fertile topsoil erosion, deforestation, air pollution, insect loss and ocean acidification.
  • "You cannot ignore the scientists, or the science, or the millions of ... children who are school striking for the right to a future," she said in closing.

Between the lines: A December poll by the Yale Program on Climate Change and George Mason University found that the portion of the American public "alarmed" about climate change is at an all-time high of 29% — double the size of a 2013 survey.

Go deeper: Watch Thunberg's full speech here.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Updated 57 mins ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.