At the heart of the battle for lowering our carbon footprint and improving the environment as a whole is a 17-year-old girl.
Greta Thunberg of Sweden has made a name for herself. It is her intention for her work to shed light on the crisis caused by climate change.
When Thunberg was only 15, she started calling for Swedish Parliament to take more action on climate change by skipping school and holding up a sign outside parliament that read “school strike for climate.”
Today, her strike has turned into an international movement of school students who call for more action on climate change on Fridays. That strike is known as the “School Strike for Climate.”
Thunberg learned of climate change when she was eight and became depressed about the situation. She started making differences in the issue at home by talking her mother, Malena Ernman, into giving up flying. Ernman is a Swedish opera singer who has joined the fight in supporting the environment by advocating for the Paris Agreement — a deal within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that aims to work on the global average temperature.
In 2019, Thunberg sailed to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York City rather than flying. She spoke at the summit to the General Assembly.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones,” Thunberg said at the summit. “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.”
Many studies point to a changing of the planet’s climate change, including NASA who says human activity is a significant factor in the planet’s climate change. There are around 200 worldwide scientific organizations that agree that climate change has been caused by human action.
Thunberg was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 and 2020, but her name recognition has come with a target on her back.
In December of last year, President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg.
“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old-fashioned movie with a friend. Chill Greta, Chill,” Trump tweeted.
After Trump’s tweet, Thunberg updated her Twitter bio by writing “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old-fashioned movie with a friend.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Thunberg is still working to fight climate change. Thunberg and 15 others have filed a lawsuit against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey as these countries are not on track to reach emission reduction targets. These countries are all part of the Paris Agreement.