Greta Thunberg

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Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg, 2018 (cropped).jpg
Greta Thunberg, in 2018
Born (2003-01-03) 3 January 2003 (age 16)
OccupationStudent and activist
Known forSchool strike for climate outside Swedish Parliament and speaking at the COP24
MovementClimate movement
WebsiteGreta Thunberg on Twitter

Greta Thunberg (born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish climate activist. In August 2018, she became a prominent figure for starting the first school strike for climate outside the Swedish parliament building, raising awareness of global warming.[1] In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm, and in December 2018 she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference.


Greta Thunberg was born on 3 January 2003.[2] Her mother is Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman and her father is actor Svante Thunberg,[3] who is named after his ancestor Svante Arrhenius.[3][4] Her grandfather is actor and director Olof Thunberg.[citation needed]

Thunberg has been diagnosed with autism.[5] She insisted that her family become vegan and give up flying.[6]

Student strikes for climate[edit]

Sign "Follow Greta! Strike for climate" in Berlin (14 December 2018).
School strike for climate in Berlin (14 December 2018).

On 20 August 2018, Thunberg, then in ninth grade, decided to not attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election on 9 September after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden.[1] Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement, and she protested via sitting outside the Riksdag every day during school hours with the sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate).[5]

After the general elections, she continued to strike only on Fridays, which gained worldwide attention. She inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes.[4] As of December 2018, more than 20,000 students held strikes in at least 270 cities[4] in countries including Australia, Austria,[7] Belgium, Canada,[8] the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland,[9][10] the United Kingdom and the United States.[4][11] In Australia, thousands of school students were inspired by Thunberg to strike on Fridays, ignoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison's comments of "more learning in schools and less activism".[12]

Other activism[edit]

Greta Thunberg participated in the Rise for Climate demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels and the Declaration of Rebellion organized by Extinction Rebellion in London.[13]

On 24 November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm.[14] She speaks about autism as a way to explain why she cannot understand the inaction of governments and of citizens on climatic threat. Towards the conclusion of her talk, Thunberg said, "We've had thirty years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas. And I'm sorry, but it doesn't work. Because if it would have, the emissions would have gone down by now—they haven't."[15]

On 4 December 2018, Thunberg addressed the COP24 United Nations climate change summit.[16] On 12 December 2018, Thunberg again addressed the COP24 plenary assembly, stating:[17][18]

"You only speak of a green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children."

"And if solution within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself"

Prizes and awards[edit]

Greta Thunberg was one of the winners of Svenska Dagbladet's debate article writing competition on the climate for young people in May 2018.[19] In the World Nature Fund's prize the young environmental hero of the year 2018, Thunberg is one of the three nominees.[20] Thunberg was nominated for the electricity company Telge Energi's prize for children and young people who promote sustainable development, Children's Climate Prize, but declined because the finalists would have to fly to Stockholm.[21] In November 2018, she was awarded the Fryshuset scholarship of the Young Role Model of the Year.[22] In December 2018, Time magazine named Thunberg one of the world's 25 most influential teenagers of 2018.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Swedish 15-year-old who's cutting class to fight the climate crisis". The Guardian. 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ Lobbe, Anne-Marie (13 December 2018). "À 15 ans, elle remet les dirigeants mondiaux à leur place!" (in French). Sympatico. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "School Strike for Climate: Meet 15-Year-Old Activist Greta Thunberg, Who Inspired a Global Movement". Democracy Now!.
  4. ^ a b c d Damian Carrington (4 December 2018). "'Our leaders are like children', school strike founder tells climate summit". The Guardian.
  5. ^ a b "The Fifteen-Year-Old Climate Activist Who Is Demanding a New Kind of Politics". The New Yorker. 2 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Climate crusading schoolgirl Greta Thunberg pleads next generation's case". The Straits Times. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  7. ^ "FridaysforFuture Vienna". Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  8. ^ Karin Larsen (7 December 2018). "Metro Vancouver students cut class to demand action on climate change". CBC.
  9. ^ "More than 1,000 Swiss pupils strike over climate". 21 December 2018.
  10. ^ "La "grève du climat" rassemble des centaines d'étudiants alémaniques". RTS Info (in French). 22 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Klimatmanifestation över hela landet: "Ödesfråga"". Expressen (in Swedish). 30 November 2018.
  12. ^ Bard Wilkinson (30 November 2018). "Australian school children defy prime minister with climate strike". CNN.
  13. ^ "This Is Our Darkest Hour: With Declaration of Rebellion, New Group Vows Mass Civil Disobedience to Save Planet". Common Dreams. 31 October 2018.
  14. ^ "TEDxStockholm Theme: Wonderland". TED. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  15. ^ Jon, Queally (19 December 2018). "Depressed and Then Diagnosed With Autism, Greta Thunberg Explains Why Hope Cannot Save Planet But Bold Climate Action Still Can". Common Dreams. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  16. ^ Carrington, Damian (4 December 2018). "'Our leaders are like children', school strike founder tells climate summit". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Greta Thunberg makes an impassioned appeal at UN climate change conference in Poland". Herald Sun. NewsCorp Australia. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  18. ^ Thunberg, Greta. "You Are Stealing Our Future: Greta Thunberg, 15, Condemns the World's Inaction on Climate Change". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  19. ^ ""Vi vet – och vi kan göra något nu" | SvD". (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Här är de nominerade till Årets miljöhjälte 2018". Natursidan (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  21. ^ Gelin, Gustav (1 November 2018). "Därför nobbar Greta Thunberg klimatpriset". ETC (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Greta Thunberg blir Årets unga förebild". Aktuell Hållbarhet (in Swedish). 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  23. ^ "TIME's 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018". Time. Retrieved 22 December 2018.

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