In 2018, Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg stepped onto the world stage, challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. Her solo ‘school strike for the climate’ demonstration outside Swedish Parliament has inspired a global movement mobilizing millions of people, especially youth, to demand real action from leaders in terms of climate change.
While she has garnered a strong following, she has also been met with criticism from those who disagree with her views. Despite the critics, Greta has reawakened and empowered a global conversation around climate change – unleashing a genie that won’t be put back into its bottle.
From Sunday 23rd May, BBC Earth (DStv Channel 184) will broadcast Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World. Join the then sixteen-year-old as she takes a year off school to explore the science of global warming. Traveling across the globe, Greta explores the science – from the melting glaciers of Canada to the coal mines of Europe. She witnesses first-hand the consequences of climate change and makes clear the reasons why she thinks something must be done right now. On her journey she meets climate scientists and confronts the complexity of what is required to make change happen. Encounters with some of the world’s leading scientists and economists allow the series to examine what the latest science tells us about what can be done to avert the worst effects of climate change. When Covid-19 brings life to a standstill Greta is faced with an even bigger challenge – to convince a world reeling from one crisis, to finally face another.
Here are five key facts about Greta Thunberg:
- She has inspired a global movement – Fridays For Future with millions of people around the world taking part in protests to make the point. UK media regulator Ofcom coined the term the ‘’Greta Effect’’ to explain the increase in engagement by children in online activism compared to previous years.
- She leads by example– she has convinced her family to implement several lifestyle changes to reduce their cardon footprint including adopting veganism and upcycling as well as a no-fly policy. To get to the United States and take part in the United Nations summit, she found a carbon neutral mode of transport in the form of a two-week trans-Atlantic journey aboard a racing yacht.
- Her words have impact. Greta’s “How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,’’ speech at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference went viral and has even been incorporated into songs and slogans.
- She has received recognition from leading bodies including, amongst others, Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, Right Livelihood Award and the International Children’s Peace Prize. In 2019 she was the youngest person to be named TIME Person of the Year, was included in Forbes list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and has received three consecutive Nobel Peace Prize Nominations.
- She has the attention of world leaders and international bodies that can help to drive change. Greta has met with several heads of state, expert climate scientists from around the globe, as well as Pope Francis, and Sir David Attenborough. She’s also testified before Congress, the European Parliament and the United Nations.
And finally, “For reasons I don’t understand people listen when I talk, but I don’t want that, I don’t want you to listen to me I want you to listen to the science… before it’s too late!’’ – Greta Thunberg
Watch Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World Trailer
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