ENVIRONMENT

Queen Elizabeth Hails Young Climate Activists In Christmas Speech

The monarch hails younger generations' "sense of purpose" in battling to protect "our environment and our climate."

The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth gave a heartfelt shout out in her Christmas speech Wednesday to young climate activists battling to save the planet.

The 93-year-old monarch said she had been “struck” by younger generations’ “sense of purpose” in tackling the issue.  

“The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation, but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate,” she said in the televised address, which was pre-recorded in Windsor Castle.

The queen’s praise comes amid mounting global protests and organizing by young people to address the crisis.

It marked a dramatic contrast to President Donald Trump’s attitude. The president, who has called the climate crisis as a hoax, has attacked Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, dismissively instructed her to “chill, Greta, chill.” Trump sniped at Thunberg most recently after she was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2019. She was the youngest person to receive the tile in its 92-year history.

In a speech in September at the United Nations, Thunberg accused world leaders of stealing “my dreams and my childhood with your empty words” and failing to act to battle climate change. “How dare you!” 

Queen Elizabeth also noted in her Christmas message that the year has “felt quite bumpy,” but added that “small steps can make a world of difference.” She didn’t detail what was “bumpy,” but Brexit has been a challenge, as has Prince Andrew’s relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The queen expressed her delight at welcoming her eighth great-grandchild to the royal family — Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s first child, Archie.

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