NEW DELHI: Fifteen-year-old Vinisha Umashankar, one of the finalists of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, delivered a powerful speech at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow on climate change. She urged everyone – world leaders, business leaders, international organization as well as the civil society – to immediately “stop talking and start acting” when it comes to tackling climate change.
During the 5-minute-long speech, she told the world that her generation is “angry and frustrated at leaders who have made empty promises and failed to deliver”.
“We have every reason to be angry but I have no time for anger. I want to act. I am not just a girl from India, I am a girl from Earth and I am proud to be so,” she said.

Calling herself an optimist, Vinisha – who hails from Tamil Nadu – invited world leaders, international organisations, civil society, and business leaders to stand with her generation and back the innovations, solutions and projects working to repair the planet and join the next generation in taking action.
Vinisha said that for a new future, we need a new vision and urged everyone to stop thinking about old debates. “We need to stop thinking about old debates because we need a new vision for a new future. So you need to invest your time, money and effort in us to shape our future,” she said.
“We, the Earthshot Prize Winners and finalists, choose to by the end of this decade protect and restore our nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world and fix our climate. are proof that the greatest challenge in the history of our Earth is also the greatest opportunity. We lead the greatest wave of innovation humanity has ever known,” Vinisha said while urging everyone to stand with the Earthshot Prize winners and finalists.
She, however, mentioned that even if the leaders don’t join Vinisha and her co-finalists and winners, they will continue to lead. “We will lead even if you don’t. We will act even if you delay and we’ll build the future even if you’re still stuck in the past,” the teenager said while requesting all present to accept her invite and assured that no-one will regret doing so.
Winding up her speech, she said, “When it comes to climate change there’s no stop button. We can’t hit pause or even rewind. We can only move together towards the future so united we rise and together we will definitely succeed”.
Vinisha was part of the “Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment”, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi just before he left for New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
– With agency inputs


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