Over the past few years, a Swedish teenager has become the global face of climate change activism. 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has met with work leaders, spoken at the United Nations, and sailed across the Atlantic in a vessel designed to release zero emissions, all before being old enough to vote.
Her crowning achievement? Greta is one of the leaders of the single largest youth climate strike in history. She has addressed world leaders at the UN Climate Summit in New York city as well as the UN Youth Summit. Her voice has also been heard at other prominent forums across the world.
The youth strike that she pioneered, protesting against activities that have led to climate change, has catapulted Greta onto the world stage at a very young age. The Global Climate Strike was the single-largest climate change demonstration in the world. Thousands of people around the world took to the streets on Friday, September 20th, in order to protest the inaction of the authorities and world governments vis-a-vis the problem of climate change.
And the 16-year-old Greta was at the helm of this massive global event!
Despite being a teenager, Greta has worked tirelessly over the years and has emerged as the leader of a global youth movement that aims to compel corporations and governments to seriously address the growing climate crisis. Since 2018, Greta’s work has been relentless and she has gained world-wide recognition for her contribution to the cause of preventing climate-change.
Last year, the teenager launched the highly successful “Fridays for Future” movement. In Sweden, this movement is known as the School Strike for Climate campaign. Through it, Greta encouraged other school-goers to skip school on Fridays to demand that their governments take serious action with regards to climate change.
The Fridays for Future Campaign
Thousands of children, teenagers, and young adults in Sweden and beyond responded to her call, which struck a nerve with Gen Z. After all, they’re the generation that stands to lose the most because of climate change and its effects.
As a ninth-grader, Greta staged a two-week strike outside the Swedish parliament in November 2018. During this strike, she demanded that the government must take steps to reduce emissions by no less than 15 percent per annum. Nowadays, she is spending every Friday on strike, and inspiring her peers around the world to do the same for the sake of the planet and the future of humanity.
The Swedish teenager caused some major hue and cry in December for calling out a group of world leaders from more than 200 countries for “behaving like children” and failing to resolve the climate-change crisis. In the past, Greta had admitted that the lack of action on climate change issues had caused her to feel depressed and hopeless, ever since she learned about the problem at the age of eight.
Uniting the Youth
At the UN Youth Climate Summit held on Saturday, the 21st of September, she once again made her voice heard at the event’s New York City venue. The UN Climate Action Summit, organized the following Monday, was no different.
Moreover, she reached the venue of these events by sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on a zero-emissions boat, instead of taking a plane and relying on the emissions-heavy aviation industry. Now that’s what we call a bold statement!