Who's Greta Thunberg? 10 facts to know on teen activist

Greta Thunberg is a teenage climate activist from Sweden, who spoke at the United Nations climate Summit on Tuesday. (Photo: Greta Thunberg/Facebook profile)

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, has made the world look at her, after her clap back at the US President Donald Trump, saying, "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I'm one of the lucky ones."

Greta Thunberg, on Tuesday, told at the United Nations Climate change Summit, "Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Here are 10 points you need to know about this young introvert who is trying to voice her fears and concerns about the environment:

1. Climate changed her

The daughter of Swedish actor Svante Thunberg and a well-known opera singer - Malena Ernman - Greta Thunberg became interested in climate change when she was only nine. She is uninterested in smartphones, trends followed by kids of her generation. By the time she was 11, her concerns over the environment grew and her sadness turned to crippling depression, according to reports.

2. Asperger's syndrome

When she was around 11 years old, she and her 13-year-old sister - Beata - were diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD and other conditions. 

“[Autism] makes me different, and being different is a gift, I would say. It also makes me see things from outside the box,” she told the BBC. “I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things.”

3. Future over schooling

Angered by the Swedish government's policies on climate change, Thunberg decided to skip school in August 2018 for the first three weeks. Over time, she sat alone, every Friday, on the cobblestones in front of the country’s parliament, holding a sign reading "School Strike for Climate".

This inspired many children from Germany, Japan, the UK, Australia and many more who joined her #FridaysforFuture demonstrations.

 

4. Walking the talk

Thunberg's arrival in New York for the UN climate summits in New York City and Chile, was on a zero-emissions yacht, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of her travel. It was a 15-day, 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic - sailing from Plymouth.

She stopped them from eating meat, turned them into vegan, urged them to buy an electric car and, in 2016, convinced her mother to stop flying.

5. A very happy young girl

To a video of Thunberg's speech at the United Nations climate action summit, Trump had tweeted, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!"

Greta, as a fitting reply to this comment, had changed her Twitter bio as "A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."

6. Global recognition

Thunberg had received a standing ovation from the 40 MPs and more than 100 guests she addressed inside the UK Parliament on September 20, 2019.

She has met former US president Barack Obama, Pope Francis, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and also earned social media endorsements from Hollowood actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

7. Scenes From The Heart

Thunberg’s parents co-authored a book, 'Scenes From The Heart', which is on their children’s mental health diagnoses that shifted their awareness on the health of the planet.

8. The woman inspired

She told Rolling Stone magazine that the first woman to inspire her was Rosa Parks. "I learned she was an introvert, and I'm also an introvert," Greta told the magazine. 

9. Alternative Nobel Prize

Greta received the Stockholm-based annual Rights Livelihood awards, known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” a day after imploring world leaders to take the threat of climate change at the UN.

10.  Nobel Prize recommendations

Greta Thunberg could be the youngest to win the $930,000 award and the first since former U.S. vice president Al Gore shared it in 2007 for raising awareness of climate change.

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