At only 16, Greta Thunberg has made a name for herself in the world of climate change. Despite her young age and Asperger syndrome diagnosis, Thunberg has dedicated her life to bringing awareness to the environmental issues affecting our planet.
Thunberg is known for her blunt and straightforward speaking manner, while addressing the public as well as political leaders and assemblies. In her speeches, she urges immediate action to address the climate crisis. She has also convinced her parents to adopt several new lifestyle choices to reduce their carbon footprint, including giving up air travel and not eating meat.
In 2018, Thunberg began spending her school days outside of Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on global warming. Thunberg then addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference and soon after, more students engaged in similar protests within their own communities.
Due to her success, Thunberg was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, which named her a “next generation leader.” She was also named as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019 by TIME Magazine, as well as being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the summer of 2019, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK, to New York in a 60 foot racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The trip was a carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing serving as a demonstration of Thunberg’s declared beliefs of the importance of reducing emissions. The trip lasted 15 days and ended with Thunberg arriving in New York to speak at the United Nations.
Most recently, Thunberg addressed the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York in September of 2019. In her speech, Thunberg said, “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.”
Her speech got an immense amount of attention, not only from the majority of the people around the world, but also a multitude of celebrities. Joe Jonas, Chris Hemsworth and Jake Gyllenhaal shared the video of Thunberg speaking at the UN on Instagram. These are just a few celebrities who have stood behind Thunberg in her efforts to make a change.
She has also been avidly supported by former President Barack Obama posted a photo on Instagram of him and Thunberg fist bumping. Obama stated in his caption ,“At just 16, @gretathunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates.”
Thunberg has done what most people couldn’t imagine doing. She has put her childhood on hold to help the environment and dedicated her life to making a change.