New York: While the world is coming together and protesting against the drastic climate changes, one should know about teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and her fight to bring global awareness to climate change.
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg first staged a “School Strike for Climate” outside her national parliament in August last year.
Her actions have inspired other schoolchildren and adults around the world, and she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The 16-year-old travelled to the US by boat in August, refusing to fly or take a cruise ship due to the emissions those modes of transport cause.
Ahead of her address to the UN next week, Ms Thunberg told US politicians they must do more to combat climate change.
The young Swedish climate activist led the charge and spoke this afternoon at the strike in New York City, where the city’s 1.1 million public school students were granted excused absences from school (although their teachers were forbidden from striking).
Friday’s strike comes at a time when scientists have discovered North America has lost 29% of its birds since 1970, Bermuda is still reeling from Hurricane Humberto and the city of Houston is recovering from Tropical Depression Imelda’s severe rains and flash flooding only two years after Hurricane Harvey.
The teenage activist was greeted with chants of “Greta! Greta!” resounding around New York’s Battery Park. “This is the biggest climate strike ever in history, and we all should be so proud of ourselves because we have done this together,” the teenager told demonstrators.
Ms Thunberg said, “about four million people took part in the strike around the world, and we’re still counting.”
“This is an emergency. Our house is on fire. And it’s not just the young people’s house, we all live here – it affects all of us,” she told the crowd.
In the one year since her first-sit in, Thunberg has become an advocate for climate change, several times urging global leaders, especially Donald Trump to take action. She has been part of many prominent events on climate change, and even to the United Nations.
Greta Thunberg has become an increasingly influential figurehead and voice for youth climate angst and activism. Since she no longer flies because of the aviation industry’s high carbon emissions, she was offered the opportunity to travel to the US on a zero-emissions sailboat.
After arriving on August 28, she’s now in Washington, DC, speaking before Congress and meeting with US lawmakers and activists before heading to New York City for the strikes and the summit.
With the UN Summit on Monday, this strike is aimed at getting countries to commit to tougher climate targets and faster transitions to renewable energy.
The teenage climate change campaigner earlier submitted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on rising temperatures as her testimony, pointing out it was not ‘political opinion’ but simply ‘science’.
Thunberg has now become an emblem of change for the good and this little girl is aiming to take the much needed action.