Severn Cullis-Suzuki's Speech at the Rio Summit in 1992

She was the Greta Thunberg of her time — and child climate activist Severn Cullis-Suzuki's 1992 Rio Summit speech is still relevant today.

12-Year-Old Speech for the Ages

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is a Canadian environmental activist, speaker, television host and author. She has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility. She is the daughter of Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki. Severn Cullis-Suzuki was only 12 years old when she spoke before the UN earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. A child speaking before adults representing all the countries in the world – yet her speech was anything but childish. It was a galvanizing admonition and an appeal to everyone to help stop the destruction of the earth’s resources:

She spoke of deforestation, chemicals in the air, the waste and greed in our society, and the wanton destruction of animal and plant species that can never be brought back to life again. 17 years later, nothing much has changed, some problems are even more acute than they were two decades ago. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that 40% of all organisms on the planet are now facing the risk of extinction. On the road to Copenhagen for the climate summit, very few countries are willing to make the commitment and sign a legally binding treaty to lower their greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the next few years. “Did you have to worry of these things when you were my age? All of this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we had all the time we want and all the solutions. I am only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realize neither do you!” the 12-year-old activist implores the Olympic crowd.

In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project.[8][2] As a member of Kofi Annan's Special Advisory Panel, she and members of the Skyfish Project brought their first project, a pledge called the "Recognition of Responsibility", to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002.[3] The Skyfish Project disbanded in 2004 as Cullis-Suzuki turned her focus back to school. She enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Victoria to study ethnobotany under Nancy Turner, finishing in 2007.


07/15/2019 6:20 PMupdated: 07/15/2019 6:49 PM


  • Irvan Y.
    10/10/2020 19:05

    Cover the speech by 5th yo girl version. Severn insprired me to create this video:

  • Alisha D.
    05/24/2020 02:51

    Fight until your voices are heard and never ever give up the fight for what’s right. What a phenomenal young lady.

  • Didid L.
    04/18/2020 06:17

    Angel children sent many times to speak for the universe, we do not hear. now He sends the corona that greets us wordlessly, we are only afraid. But also did not hear Him... 😔

  • Sterling M.
    04/17/2020 09:30

    Greeta is timetraveler and can change face?🤣

  • Nuno F.
    04/16/2020 22:41

    What change? :(

  • Jim H.
    04/16/2020 17:20

    This is pretty offensive, why you posting this?

  • Maria F.
    04/16/2020 16:23

    Wow, so powerful ~

  • Bernd v.
    02/18/2020 09:01

    The problem is ... , far to many Humans on this Planet ... , now 7.5 Billions ... , in 40 years 11 Billions ... , nothing will change ... , it will get worse ... guarantee ... !!! ??? ???

  • Dale B.
    01/21/2020 04:08

    So where is she now , what has she done up till 2020. A activist against pipelines , not actually doing anything but talk and nothing for the environment

  • Tenir L.
    01/16/2020 16:57

    Blah blah blah and yet polies making money and just want more power and money so they have become die hard followers to harness the globe. What do you do about opportunists that could use money out of anything and everything to cost everyone else their lives and being.

  • Eric Y.
    01/13/2020 06:36

    She is much better and a lot more Real than Greta!

  • Mel R.
    01/08/2020 11:48

    Can i ask where she is now?

  • Suraj Y.
    01/08/2020 09:13

    Better than Greta Thunberg. At least she doesn't have that psycho looks like Greta.

  • Darrell S.
    01/07/2020 03:47

    Greta of the 90’s...... Such perfect timing......and writing skills. Sounds identical to Greta’s.

  • Hrithik W.
    12/29/2019 10:52

    Sry but I think they were laughing internally 🤣

  • Kim M.
    12/29/2019 01:04

    Another braimwashed script reader

  • Steven N.
    12/28/2019 11:08

    Note she nodded to the real goal a one world government, global

  • Almir H.
    12/28/2019 07:30

    So many carelles people, shame you...

  • Plamen H.
    12/27/2019 22:34

    2020 same think nothing changes we keep polloting, keep killing but now we are doing it in biger scales. Slowly but surely we are going to the end.

  • John T.
    12/27/2019 16:14

    What has she been doing since 1992?