The youngest activist making a name for herself, Greta Thunberg is a Swedish climate activist, who is campaigning against global warming and climate change.
She first gained media attention in 2018 for creating a School Strike protest. Thunberg started protesting by sitting outside the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament, every Friday during school hours with the sign “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for the climate). Initially, nobody supported her protest; however, as she gained world-wide attention, students across the globe got inspired by Greta’s protest and started taking part in student strikes.
After protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, Greta participated in the Rise for Climate demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels. She then continued to raise awareness on global warming and climate change by addressing the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’, in October 2018, which was organized by Extinction Rebellion opposite the Houses of Parliament. Her fame escalated from there, as during November 2018, Thunberg spoke at TED x Stockholm and in December 2018, Thunberg also addressed the COP24 United Nations Climate Change Summit.
This year, in January, Thunberg arrived at Davos, after a 32-hour train journey, to address the World Economic Forum. Then in June 2019, Thunberg announced to the world that she was going to sail across the Atlantic, in a high-speed yacht, to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York; which she is currently halfway through. However, this has sparked controversy throughout the media, where public figures have backlashed her decisions and targeted Greta personally. It is highly disturbing that so many adult public figures are attacking a 16-year-old based on her disabilities, due to the rise of media attention she has brought to climate change and protests around the world.
However, Thunberg doesn’t see Asperger’s as a disability, but as a gift which opened her eyes to the climate crisis.
She stated, “The best thing about my protest has been to see how more and more people have been coming and getting involved.”
In July 2019, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, declared Thunberg and her climate activism as the “greatest threat” to the fossil fuel industry.
Greta Thunberg will be arriving in New York, hopefully by next week, and will be speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, on September 23rd 2019.