Greta Thunberg delivered a passionate speech slamming world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. ©AFP

Indian cricket team opener Rohit Sharma has heaped praise on Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, after she delivered a passionate speech slamming world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

“Leaving the saving of our planet to our children is utterly unfair. Greta Thunberg, you’re an inspiration. There are no excuses now. We owe the future generations a safe planet. The time for change is now,” tweeted Sharma on Tuesday.

On Monday, Greta and 15 other children later filed a complaint against five countries over the climate crisis.

Thunberg accused the world leaders of betraying her generation by failing to act on climate change and said: “We will not let you get away with this.”

“And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you,” she said.

“Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

The Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a voluntary mechanism which allows children or adults on their behalf to appeal directly to the UN for help if a country that has ratified the Protocol fails to provide a remedy for a rights violation.

They urged the independent body to order the member states to take action to protect children from the devastating impacts of climate change.

“Change needs to happen now if we are to avoid the worst consequences. The climate crisis is not just the weather. It means also, lack of food and lack of water, places that are unliveable and refugees because of it. It is scary,” said Thunberg.

Directly after her speech she, with 15 other children, delivered an official complaint on the climate crisis’ impact on youth to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Governments were asked to bring plans not speeches to the UN Climate Summit, in the hope doing so would reset climate geopolitics ahead of a deadline next year for countries to upgrade their climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.

There were no substantial new commitments from Heads of Government, some speeches were empty, however, there were also some examples of the kind of action that, if significantly scaled, could be the answer to the climate emergency.