July 2, 2022

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Greta Thunberg: Here is Everything You Need To Know

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Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, born 3 January 2003, is a Swedish environmental activist who is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. Thunberg initially gained notice for her youth and her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she criticises world leaders for their failure to take what she considers sufficient action to address the climate crisis.

Thunberg’s activism started after convincing her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint. In August 2018, at age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for climate). Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organised a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were multiple coordinated multi-city protests involving over a million students each. To avoid flying, Thunberg sailed to North America where she attended the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit. Her speech there, in which she exclaimed “how dare you”, was widely taken up by the press and incorporated into music.

Her sudden rise to world fame has made her both a leader and a target for critics. Her influence on the world stage has been described by The Guardian and other newspapers as the “Greta effect”. She has received numerous honours and awards including an honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, inclusion in Time’s 100 most influential people, being the youngest Time Person of the Year, inclusion in the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2019), and two consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019 and 2020).

Know her more:

Meet the teenager whose one-person protest sparked a worldwide climate revolution! Discover more about this young eco-hero in our top ten Greta Thunberg facts:

  1. Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2003. When she was eight, she started learning about climate change. The more she learned, the more baffled she became as to why so little was being done about it.

  2. At the age of 11, Greta became so sad about climate change that she temporarily stopped speaking!

  3. Greta has Asperger syndrome, a condition that affects how people socialise. But Greta views her condition as a positive, calling it her “superpower”! She says it helps her see the world in black and white, and that there are “no grey areas when it comes to climate change.”

  4. In August 2018, Greta decided to take action. Instead of going to school, she made a large sign that read ‘SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE’, and calmly sat down outside the Swedish parliament. Her aim? To make politicians take notice and act to stop global warming.

  5. Greta was inspired by teenage activists in Florida, USA, who were protesting to end gun violence. Read more about the School Strike for Climate protests that Greta inspired!

  6. Greta’s strike was picked up by the Swedish media, and the word started to spread. Soon enough, tens of thousands of students from around the world joined her #FridaysforFuture strikes – skipping school on Fridays to protest against climate change.

  7. In March 2019, climate campaigners across the world, and inspired by Greta, came together to co-ordinate the first Global Strike for Climate. It was huge – over 1.6 million people from 125 countries took part! There are further global strikes planned for September this year.

  8. Since her strike began, Greta’s life has become a whirlwind! She’s given rousing speeches to politicians, to the EU parliament, the UK parliament, to protesters and more. She’s appeared in documentaries and had loads of books and articles written about her. She’s even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize!

  9. In August 2019, Greta travelled on a wind and solar-powered boat from Plymouth, UK, to New York, USA – the journey took 15 days! Greta will be at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, where she’ll demand action from world leaders.

  10. Greta has named Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist, as one of her greatest inspirations. In the 1950s, Rosa sparked a civil rights movement that improved the lives and treatment of millions of African Americans.

Also Read: Nobel Prize 2019-20: Winners, Important Facts