Who is Greta Thunberg?

If you don’t know the answer, where have you been?

18 year old Greta Thunberg is a climate change activist from Sweden.

Greta is now so well known globally that simply “Greta” is enough to know who is being talked about.

As a young child, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s (a form of Autism) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Overcoming several challenges and her growing concerns over climate change, Greta decided to channel her gifts into raising awareness of the issue.

Greta persuaded her family to become vegan, to switch to an electric car and to stop flying. But she was just getting started.

When Greta began the ‘School Strike for Climate’ protests on 20 August 2018, sitting outside Stockholm’s parliament building, who knew then what an inspirational and instantly recognisable figure she would become.

A series of global strikes and protests have since seen millions of people across more than 100 countries take to the streets, in cities ranging from London to New York, Mumbai to Sydney.

From speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit to having her words projected on the side of its headquarters, Greta’s speeches receive global attention and worldwide acclaim. Below are some of our personal highlights.

Her documentary series, ‘A Year to Change to World’ is a must watch, as is the earlier ‘I am Greta’. And indeed her many speeches, from which some of the quotes below come.

Our favourite Greta Thunberg quotes

  1. “In such an emergency as we are in right now, everyone needs to take their moral responsibility, at least I think so, and use whatever power they have, whatever platform they have, to try to influence and push in the right direction, to make a change. I think that’s our duty as human beings.”
  2. “We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.”
  3. “For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis, but we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer. We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not.”
  4. “Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah.”
  5. “We are trying to find concrete, small solutions that are symbolic in order to make it seem like we are doing something, without actually confronting the problem at all. We are still not counting all the emissions when we are announcing targets. We are still using creative accounting when it comes to emissions cuts, and so on. As long as that’s the case, we will not get very far.”
  6.  “This is not some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging. Fighting climate change calls for innovation, cooperation and willpower.”
  7. “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.”
  8. “I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
  9. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say – we will never forgive you.”
  10. “We have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not.”
  11. “I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.”
  12. “I think that these people [in the fossil fuel industry] need to be held accountable for all the damage that they have caused… especially for the people whose communities and whose health and livelihoods have been devastated by the actions of these companies. I think that’s the bare minimum to ask for.”
  13. “Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope.”
  14. “You say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
  15. “Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.”
  16. “I don’t really like being in the centre of attention. I’m not used to that. All my life I have been like the invisible girl at the back that no one sees or listens to.”
  17. “That future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money.”
  18. “We will never stop fighting, we will never stop fighting for this planet, for ourselves, our futures and for the future’s of our children and grandchildren.”
  19. “My message is that we’ll be watching you. This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”
  20. “We need to stand together and take action because otherwise it might be too late. Let’s not wait any longer. Let’s do it now.”
  21. “I think it is insane that people are gathered here to talk about the climate and they arrive here in private jets.”
  22. “This is above all an emergency and not just any emergency. This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.”
  23. “We deserve a safe future. And we demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?
  24. “This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”
  25. “You must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.”
  26. “For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis, but we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer. We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not.”
  27. “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change – and it has to start today.”
  28. “I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the science.”
  29. “Hope doesn’t come from words. Hope comes from action.
  30. “This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”

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