In a speech Following the catastrophic fire that ripped through Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sweden’s teen climate activist Greta Thunberg gave an impassioned speech on Tuesday where she challenged Europe’s leaders to take the threat of climate change as seriously as the plans to rebuild the heavily damaged famed church.

“I’m 16 years old, I come from Sweden and I want to make you panic. I want you to act as if your house were on fire,” said Thunberg.  “Our civilisation is so fragile, like a castle built on sand. Its facade is beautiful but the foundations are so fragile,” Thunberg said a room of more than 250 people at the Environment Committee of the European Parliament. “Yesterday, the world looked with despair and huge sadness at how Our Lady of Paris burned. Some constructions are more than constructions. But Notre-Dame will be rebuilt. I hope its foundations are solid. And I hope that our foundations are so much, but I fear the opposite: around 2030, we will be in a situation of irreversible changes that will most likely lead to the end of civilization as we know it.”

Thunberg did not shy away from challenging Europe’s political leaders, saying they should spend less time on convening emergency Brexit summits and instead focus on gathering the world’s leading decision-makers for an equally extraordinary climate conference. catastrophe.

“You should put aside your differences and start cooperating…our house is falling apart, time is running out, and yet nothing is happening.”

French MEP from the European People’s Party, Françoise Grossetête, was one of several European parliamentarians who were less-than-pleased by Thunberg’s appearance, which she labelled as a “catastrophic, decreasing, and anti-nuclear discourse” and that Thunberg, herself, has become a political tool for environmental activists.