TEEN
07/02/2015 02:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

15-Year-Old Climate Activist Speaks To UN General Assembly

This 15-year-old has got something to say, and on June 29th, the United Nations General Assembly heard him loud and clear.

Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez stood before the representatives and spoke earnestly and boldly (without notes, for the record) about the urgency of climate change, urging them to take action immediately. “What's at stake right now is the existence of my generation," he said in his speech. "In the last 20 years of negotiations, almost no agreements have been made on a bonding climate recovery plan," he said.

Roske acknowledged that conversations are indeed taking place in an interview with Upworthy, saying "a lot was addressed about needing to take action and wanting to do something, and that's great... It's reassuring there's a conversation going on," he said. But, he added, "we have to speed up the conversation."

This was his third time addressing the UN, and one of many of his public efforts to raise awareness and inspire action around climate change, which he refers to in his speech as "the defining issue of our time," and "a human rights issue." His work in this realm began when he was juts six years old (!), when he made his first speech on the topic.

In more recent years, he's given an inspiring TED Talk on the matter, serving on President Obama's 2013 Youth Council (after he received the 2013 United States Community Service Award of course), and working as the Youth Director of non-profit organization, Earth Guardians, which seeks to promote young activists and artists interested in helping to protect the planet. Several months ago, production company BLKFLM made a short film about his story. See below:

Now that's one remarkable 15-year-old.

For more about how you can help Xiuhtezcatl in his cause, check out Earth Guardians list of 50 Simple Ways to Cut Carbon

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