Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg describes herself as a “climate radical” and is protesting outside Sweden’s parliament every day and refusing to go to school until Sweden’s general election on 9 September, to draw attention to the climate crisis.
The teenager, who began to get engaged in environmental issues from the age of 11, is calling on politicians to take climate issues seriously.
The flyers she has with her for passersby to read use state: “We kids often don’t do what you tell us to do. We do as you do. And since you grown-ups don’t give a shit about my future, I won’t either”.
Since school term began, the young activist has been sat outside the parliament during school hours. She takes her books with her so she doesn’t fall behind on her studies.
Sweden is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2045. And while Sweden may have a reputation worldwide for being environmentally conscious, according to Greta Thunberg it’s “too little too late”. She said: “It needs to come much faster. Sweden is not a green paradise, it has one of the biggest carbon footprints.”
Following an extreme heatwave and widespread wildfires this summer, climate issues have pushed up the agenda for many voters. Some surveys show that climate policy is now the second most important issue for voters ahead of the 9 September election, with only immigration considered more pressing.
Greta Thunberg hopes her protest will help ensure that climate issues stay on top of the agenda, as she urges politicians “to treat it as the crisis it is”.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea