january 2021

Climate activist Greta Thunberg turns 18 | DW News

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage environmental activist, has turned 18. Becoming an adult in Swedish comes with a lot of freedoms, including the right to vote and stand for office. And that’s important to Thunberg who has often said “Every election is a climate election.” The world got to know her as a 15 year old. Sitting outside the Swedish parliament, protesting for action on climate change. With her slogan ‘school strike for the climate’ Thunberg invited her classmates to join her and skip school on Fridays to protest. Her message went viral – and global. She repeatedly scolded world leaders’ reactions to global warming. Ultimately her protest inspired the ‘Friday’s for future’ demonstrations – which gained major traction with young people around the world. But the movement also hit home with a lot of older people – people concerned that they had seen too little climate action in their lifetimes. Her message was clear and simple. ln 2019 the environmental activist sailed two weeks across the Atlantic on a zero carbon yacht to New York to deliver a message to the UN’s climate action summit. There, she reminded the world that she was still just a child and her thoughts should be elsewhere. But now Thunberg is turning 18 – making her an adult in the eyes of Swedish law. She will finally be able to vote and hold to account politicians she accuses of passing the climate buck onto children. She says for her nothing has changed, the world needs to treat climate change as the true crisis it is – here and now.