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Greta Thunberg - Taking the World by Storm

Image by Anders Hellberg - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Great Thunberg is a trailblazing climate activist who has addressed world leaders and top economists, has been named Sweden's woman of the year and is now tipped to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Here is everything you need to know about the 16-year-old.

Who is Greta Thunberg?

Greta Thunberg was born in Sweden in 2003 to her mother Malenda Ernman, an opera singer who represented Sweden in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, and father Svante Thunberg, an actor.

At the age of 15, she refused to attend school on Fridays until the government tackled the growing climate and ecological crisis. She spent her days sitting outside Swedish parliament to call for action on global warming - this grew wildly as her peers and teens from across the globe gradually started to join in. The movement is now called Fridays For Future.

Greta has Asperger syndrome and sees her condition not as a disability but as a gift that has helped open her eyes to the climate crisis.

In just 12 months, she has become one of the world’s most talked-about people, being at the helm of the Global Climate Strike on September 20th where an estimated 4 million people took to the streets in the largest climate change demonstration in history, to being invited to speak at the UN General assembly.

Why did Greta’s speech at the UN make headlines?

On Monday the 23rd of September, Thunberg accused world leaders of failing her generation and did so with a charismatic speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.” Who is Greta’s inspiration? The first woman to inspire Greta was Rosa Parks, “I learned she was an introvert, and I’m also an introvert” says Greta. “One person can make such a huge difference.”

Why did Greta decline the environmental award and prize?

“The climate movement does not need any more awards,” she wrote.

“What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science.”

What does Greta Thunberg want to achieve? ‘I promised myself I was going to do everything I could to make a difference’

Greta has given up her education to fight for our future, ‘I should be back in school. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood.’ Greta’s wants world leaders to take more action and responsibility with how we treat the planet.

Climate change is our reality, and youth activists like Greta are doing everything within their power to work against it, and demand a change.

Young women are fierce when changing the world. Greta Thunberg, Thank you for proving how powerful girls can be.

By Bryony Dougherty

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