This young Swede eco queen is the eco-warrior of all eco-warriors! 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a climate and environmental activist, has become the face of climate change and a huge inspiration for thousands of people, both young and old, all over the world.
If you haven’t heard about her, today’s your lucky day! Here a few reasons why we are incredibly inspired by this eco-hero:
1. She inspired the global movement #FridaysforFuture
In August 2018, upon realising her generation won’t have a future unless the world’s politicians act on climate change, the then 15-year-old Greta skipped school to protest outside the Swedish parliament. To this day, more than a year later, she continues to school strike every Friday. The only difference is, she is no longer alone. What started as a single person strike soon gained global momentum.
“I just sat down outside the parliament. I would never have imagined it was going to be this big,” she said.
The hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike spread and many students and adults began to protest outside of their parliaments and local city halls all over the world.
Despite criticism and personal attacks, she has remained inspiringly dedicated to raising continuous awareness about climate change.
2. She’s speaking up for Mother Earth… and for all of us.
She has become a symbol for a generation not being listened to by a generation that won’t have to suffer the consequences of not listening. We have ten years, she will often say in her speeches, to stave off a chain reaction that will forever alter the future of our planet. If we only start listening when she’s 26, it’ll already be too late!
From her TedX talk in Stockholm to her upcoming presence at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, she’s not afraid to speak to the world. Her address the the European Union Parliament speech received a well-deserved 30-second standing ovation. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it below!
Greta has also spoken at climate rallies in Stockholm, Helsinki, Brussels and London. In December she attended the United Nations COP24 in Katowice, Poland, where she addressed the Secretary-General and made a plenary speech that went viral and was shared many million times around the globe. In January 2019 she was invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos where her speeches again made a worldwide impact.
3. She’s extremely dedicated!
Speaking of her upcoming presence at the United Nations summits in New York, she refuses to fly anywhere to avoid a plane’s fossil-fuel emissions.
Instead, she set sail for a two-week trip across the Atlantic Ocean in a solar-powered, zero-carbon emissions yacht! She left Plymouth, England last month (August), bound for New York, along with her father, Svante Thunberg, documentary filmmaker Nathan Grossman, skipper Boris Herrmann and co-skipper Pierre Casiraghi.
If a 16-year-old crossing the Atlantic Ocean to make a stand is not dedication, I don’t know what is. AMAZING!
She also prefers traveling by train or bus to attend summits, conferences, and speaking events across Europe.
4. Our girl has been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize!
We won’t know until December if she’ll win, but if she does then she will be the youngest ever recipient of a Nobel Prize! You go, girl!
5. She’s definitely a game changer!
Aside from being named as one of the worlds most influential teens by TIME magazine and her appearances in many other influential publications, this green goddess is the first person to receive a GQ Men of the Year award!
Dylan Jones, editor of GQ, said, “The Game Changer Award was created for Greta Thunberg. Her fearless dedication to raising awareness of the global climate change crisis makes her the absolute embodiment of this award and on behalf of GQ we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate her at the upcoming GQ Men of the Year Awards.”
When asked in her GQ interview if she was hopeful, she said, “I don’t know. I am [neither] an optimist nor a pessimist. I say I’m a realist, that if we do the changes required it is still possible within the laws of physics to avoid the worst. But if we don’t then maybe not. But I just think that we will have to do everything in our power to make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We now have to do the seemingly impossible.”
Now that you know who she is, she needs our help!
Greta always stresses that climate change is an international emergency! And we can’t solve an emergency without treating it like one.
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On September 20th and 27th the world strikes again for the climate! Everyone is welcome to join, everyone is needed. I will participate in the strikes in New York on the 20th and in Montreal the 27th. Find or register your local strike at fridaysforfuture.org (link in bio) or at local websites. Spread the word! Let’s do this!! #fridaysforfuture #climatestrike #schoolstrike4climate
On 20th and 27th September the world strikes again for the climate! While Greta will be in New York, everyone all over the world is invited to join in! Let’s stand with her and the children fighting for their future. Find or register your local strike at fridaysforfuture.org or at your local websites. Spread the word!
I have always been that girl in the back who doesn’t say anything. I thought I couldn’t make a difference because I was too small. But I've learned you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. — Greta Thunberg
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In september the UN will hold a climate summit in New York. In december the United Nations conference of parties, COP25, will be held in Santiago de Chile. And this is pretty much where our future will be decided. Because by the year 2020, next year, the emission curve must have been bended steep downwards if we are to have a chance to stay below 1,5 or 2 degrees of warming. After the holidays I am starting gymnasium, like high school. And this is what I really want to do. I love studying. But I have also been invited to attend these two events, in North and South America. And since time is running out I have decided to try to take a sabbatical year from school and go there. The tricky thing is that it’s on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. And there are no trains going there. And since I don’t fly, because of the enormous climate impact of aviation, it’s going to be a challenge. I haven’t quite figured that out yet. But I’m sure I will get there somehow. We will all have to do the impossible. The school strikes will continue next year, and the year after that. We will go on protesting and manifesting every Friday until the world is in line with the Paris agreement.