Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Climate change activist Greta Thunberg chastised lawmakers for "pretending that everything is fine" despite warnings from scientists about global warming during a climate strike event in Los Angeles.
The 16-year-old Swede joined other teen and college-age activists in the Youth Climate Strike on Friday outside Los Angeles City Hall.
Earlier this year, she led school strikes in her home country in Sweden and rose to prominence in the environmental movement worldwide when she gave a passionate speech on climate change to the United Nations months ago.
Along with the other Los Angeles protesters, she demanded California Gov. Gavin Newsom ban new oil and gas drilling since scientists have identified carbon emissions from such drilling as a primary source of climate change. Protesters also demanded a 2,500-foot buffer between drill sites and homes.
Similar to her U.N. speech in September, Thunberg said her generation must hold elected officials accountable for their environmental policies because it's young people's lives that will be impacted.
"The scientists have been repeating the same message over and over again, and yet, they are still not being listened to," Thunberg said. "Why are the people in power still pretending that everything is fine and we can just continue to live ... as if there was no tomorrow? Well, there is a tomorrow -- it is a tomorrow where we, the young people, will live and we need to fight for that tomorrow as if our lives depend on it, because it does."
Harbor Area resident Nalleli Cobo, 18, who has been fighting against oil and gas drilling as her family lives within 30 feet of an oil well, was also at the climate strike.
"I was forced to fight for my community, our health and our lives," Cobo said. "While growing up next to this oil well, I noticed my health take a toll for the worst. I have a higher risk of developing cancer and possible damage to my reproduction system. But it wasn't just me, it was most of my community."
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz filed a motion Friday calling on the city's petroleum officer to provide a report on ways to cut carbon emissions citywide.
Koretz added that local refineries import 98 percent of their crude oil, so the protesters demands would not change product output that much.
Thunberg used an electric car to get to the protest in Los Angeles and has also traveled across the continent. She previously made her way to the United States from Europe in a zero-emissions sailboat.
Earlier in the week, she spoke with survivors of the Camp Fire that burned over 153,000 acres last year.
"It was just devastating to see the destruction there and the houses that were gone and people telling stories, horrible stories," she said. "Of course, wildfires are a natural part of the ecosystem here, but they are being intensified with the climate crisis and it will continue to get worse."