Greta Thunberg: The schoolgirl who inspired global climate change movement

Greta Thunberg: The schoolgirl who inspired global climate change movement

The youth-led climate protests which kicked off across the world were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager who went on a three-week school strike outside her country’s parliament in summer last year.

Born to a professional opera singer mother, the 16-year-old developed her interest in climate change aged nine after watching a film on the effects of plastic.

What began as a lone fight in August last year outside the Swedish parliament spread all over the world and involved more than 100,000 schoolchildren in 112 different countries.

The movement was called Fridays For Future and consisted of students around the world, including Ireland, taking every Friday off to demand government action on the climate issue.

Greta has Asperger’s and ADHD but has often spoken on how her conditions have acted as a motivator instead of a source of depression, which she said they once were.

Since her first strike last year at the age of 15, Greta has gone on to talk about the possible solutions to combat climate change at rallies in Stockholm, Helsinki, Brussels and London. Every conference she has attended she has travelled by train, bus or cycled in an effort to keep her carbon footprint low.

Over the last few years, she has convinced her family to make drastic changes in order to help save the planet including refusing to fly on planes, growing their own vegetables and not eating meat.

Greta was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by members of Norway’s Parliament for her work and determination, and she received the freedom of expression, Fritt Ord Prize, in April.

Greta is setting sail on 60ft racing boat Malizia II to get to this year’s UN Climate Action Summit in New York and the COP25 climate change conference in Santiago.

- Press Association

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