Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to take gap year

16-year-old environmentalist Greta Thunberg will finish school in a few weeks’ time. But unlike many of her peers, she has decided not to go directly into further education.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to take gap year
Greta Thunberg demonstrating in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The young climate activist has instead decided to take a year away from education in order to continue her work for the environment, she told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

“It was a difficult decision, but it had to be taken now,” Thunberg said.

In September, Thunberg is scheduled to attend an extraordinary climate summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

She has also been invited to a climate conference in Chilean capital Santiago in December.

“Since I don’t fly, I have to cross the Atlantic another way. I have not really figured it out yet, but I’ll get there one way or another. At least, I want to try any way I can,” she told Dagens Nyheter.

Thunberg rose to prominence after launching her protest outside the Swedish parliament last year with her now-famous “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School Strike for the Climate) sign.

She has since continued her activism in Sweden and Europe, calling for politicians to take the global climate crisis seriously.

Schoolgoers in several other countries have followed Thunberg’s lead and staged their own strikes and demonstrations.

Thunberg was also invited to speak at the UN’s climate conference in Katowice and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In April, she was included in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and she has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.


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Greta Thunberg slams leaders’ ’empty words’ ahead of Paris anniversary

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has condemned the "empty words" of world leaders in a video message released ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate accord on Saturday.

Greta Thunberg slams leaders' 'empty words' ahead of Paris anniversary
Greta Thunberg made her impassioned video with activist filmmakers. Photo: Screengrab
Since world leaders pledged to limit global temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius in 2015, “a lot has happened, but the action needed is still nowhere in sight,” the 17-year-old said in a video posted to social media.
Thunberg warned “we are still speeding in the wrong direction,” and she accused global decision-makers of wasting time “creating new loopholes with empty words and creative accounting.”

Although the accord signed in the French capital five years ago committed governments to capping global warming at 2 degrees — and if possible 1.5 degrees — compared to the pre-industrial era, the UN warned on Wednesday that
the world is currently on course for a temperature rise of 3 degrees, despite the fall in emissions caused by the pandemic.
In its annual assessment of emissions levels, the UN's Environment Programme found that 2020's 7-percent fall in carbon pollution would have “negligible impact” on warming without a broad and rapid shift away from fossil fuels.
On Friday the 27 member states of the EU agreed to raise their greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 to at least 55 percent of 1990 levels, against the current 40 percent.
Thunberg, the figurehead of the Fridays for Future climate protest movement, regularly calls on governments to set annual emissions targets for now, and not the 2030 or 2050 horizons which are used in most international greenhouse gas agreements.
However, in her latest three-minute video Thunberg said that “the hope comes from the people” and she called on people to act, ahead of a day of 2,500 planned demonstrations worldwide, many online, by her movement to mark
the anniversary of the Paris accord.
The movement claims the objective of 1.5 degrees is now “non negotiable” and the only hope of safeguarding the planet for future generations.