Everything You Need To Know About Greta Thunberg And Her Fight For Climate Change

Greta has spoken, and now we need to act.
Loading the player...

You may have heard of Greta Thunberg.

The teenager from Sweden has become the face of a global movement, rising to ‘icon status’ within a year thanks to her authoritative, factual, and passionate speeches which are able to do what very few young people are able to do; successfully put adults in their place. 

WATCH: Greta Thunberg delivers powerful climate change speech

Greta has become such a world-renowned and respected teenager, she now has the capability to inspire a global climate strike in just a few short tweets, a responsibility she doesn’t take lightly. 

It is for all the reasons listed above which makes Greta such a flummoxing figure for those opponents she faces in a movement which rests on convincing those 20+ years her senior that they need to act.

Greta does not mince her words when it comes to raising awareness of the risks posed by climate change, and she speaks from the heart. 

Greta is the face of climate change action for future generations, and she is inspiring all of us to do better. 

Greta Thunberg demonstrates with high school students against global warming at a Fridays for Future demonstration in Germany. (Credit: Getty)

“How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood,” she told world leaders at the United Nations in 2019. And with that simple sentence, the schoolgirl from Sweden encapsulated what it is like to be a child in a world of climate change deniers, and even worse, adults who are refusing to listen. 

Angry, and disappointed. 

Greta has since become a symbol for climate protests around the world, as well as a inspiring movement where young people feel empowered to question world leaders, initiating a global protest through social media where kids take time off school to protests against the inadequate policies that are in place to tackle the serious issue of climate change. 

So who exactly is Greta Thunberg? Read on to find out.

Greta Thunberg holds up her Swedish “School Strike for the Climate” sign. (Credit: Getty)

Where and when was Greta born?  

Greta Thunberg is Swedish and was born in Stockholm on January 3, 2003. 

Who are Greta’s parents? 

Greta is the daughter of opera singer Malena Ernman and actor Svante Thunberg.

When did Greta first become an activist?

Greta has been open about her journey to fix global warming. In 2011, as an eight-year-old, Greta first began to hear about the climate crisis.

Greta has since opened up about how the lack of response from the Swedish parliament – and from those around her – led her to feel disheartened in the extreme. A few years later, Greta began to take more drastic and vocal steps forward in her activism. 

In the book Scenes from the Heart, Greta recounts how she began to challenge her parents with how they lead their lives, encouraging them to lower their carbon footprint by becoming vegan and giving up air travel. 

Such a move meant that Greta’s mum had to give up her career as an opera singer as the only way for her to travel was via the air, but as Greta put it, some things – such as saving the planet – are more important. 

Greta Thunberg takes part in a seminar on climate at the Italian Senate, 2019. (Credit: Getty)

Greta Thunberg’s Asperger’s diagnosis

Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2013, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and selective mutism. 

Greta has since called her Asperger’s her ‘superpower’. 

When did Greta start the school climate strikes

Fridays for future has become a movement that has gripped young people across the world and inspired the school strike for climate change movement, but it all started with the OG climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

In 2018, Greta began to strike during her school hours to protest the government’s inadequate response to climate change. The school strike soon garnered international attention, with her action to miss school inspiring the Fridays for future movement.

Greta Thunberg delivers brief remarks surrounded by other student environmental advocates outside the White House. (Credit: Getty)

What is #FridaysForFuture

As is explained on their website, the movement began when a “15-year-old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every schoolday for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. She posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and it soon went viral.” 

On the 8th of September 2018, the young Swedish climate activist vowed to strike every Friday until Swedish policies were aligned with the Paris agreement (an agreement within the United Nations that deals specifically with climate change). 

Greta’s transatlantic voyage to New York

After turning down a meeting with US President Donald Trump, Greta sailed from the United Kingdom to New York City in a carbon-neutral vessel. 

Greta travelled the 15-days-across the ocean to attend the UN Climate Action Summit, where her presence only cemented Greta as a symbol for the furious and desperate Gen-Z generation. 

Greta Thunberg speaks at the United Nations on September 23rd. (Credit: Getty)

Greta Thunberg’s inspiring appearance at the climate summit

Greta moved teens and adults alike with her powerful and passionate speech while at the United Nations headquarters on September 23rd in 2019 in the United States. 

The address was nothing short of electrifying, as she lambasted government officials across the world with no attempt to hide her anger. 

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you,” said the 18-year-old climate activist. 

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”

While at the summit, Greta echoed the feelings of every young person when she assured world leaders that the kids of her generation would “never forgive” them, should they not act on climate change. 

Related stories