Greta Thunberg says she’s ready to hand over megaphone

Four years after launching her "School Strike for the Climate", Swedish activist Greta Thunberg is ready to pass the baton to those on the front lines of climate change, she said in an interview on Monday.

Greta Thunberg says she's ready to hand over megaphone
Greta Thunberg at the Fridays for future demonstration outside Stockholm's Mynttorget square. Photo: Tim Aro/TT

“We should also listen to reports and experiences from people who are most affected by the climate crisis. It’s time to hand over the megaphone to those who actually have stories to tell,” the 19-year-old told Swedish news agency TT.

After urging the public in recent years to “listen to the science”, Thunberg said the world now needed “new perspectives”.

In the past four years, Thunberg’s one-person strike outside the Swedish parliament has evolved into to a massive global movement engaging millions of youths and unleashing a torrent of debate on the dangers of climate change.

Thunberg said she initially believed an urgent debate on the climate was needed to save the world for future generations.

But over time, she said, she has come to understand that the climate crisis is already having devastating consequences on people’s lives.

“So it becomes even more hypocritical when people in Sweden for example say that we have time to adapt and shouldn’t fear what will happen in the future”, she said.

Thunberg has previously said she would skip the COP27 talks starting Monday in Sharm El-Sheik, slamming it as a forum for “greenwashing”.

She told TT her talks with world leaders have left her pessimistic about their ability to make progress on the issue.

“Some of the things world leaders and heads of state have said when the microphone is off are hard to believe when you tell people”, she said.

“Like, ‘If I had known what we were agreeing to when we signed the Paris Agreement I would never have signed’, or “You kids are more knowledgeable in this area than I am'”, she said.

“The lack of knowledge among the world’s most powerful people is shocking”. Thunberg, who is in her final year of high school in Stockholm, said meanwhile she hasn’t yet decided what she will do after she graduates.

“We’ll see. If I had to choose today, I would choose to continue my studies. Preferably something that has to do with social issues”, she said.

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Sweden’s mean temperature up 1.9C since late 1800s: report

Sweden's average temperature has risen nearly two degrees Celsius since the late 1800s and while precipitation has increased the snow cover lasts two weeks less, a new report on the Nordic country's climate change said Tuesday.

Sweden's mean temperature up 1.9C since late 1800s: report

According the report from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) the average temperature in the country was 1.9 degrees Celsius (3.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher in the period between 1991 to 2020 compared to the period between 1861 and 1890.

SMHI noted that the observed change was roughly double that of the change in global average temperatures for the same period.

The weather agency said that it had not previously conducted an analysis as extensive, where it looked at as many different indicators of climate change, before.

“The result of the analysis clearly show that Sweden’s climate has changed,” Semjon Schimanke, climatologist and project leader at SMHI, said in a statement.

“The warmer climate with more precipitation in Sweden closely follows the observed global warming that is a result of human climate influence,” Erik Kjellstrom, professor of climatology at SMHI, added.

Not all of the observation series covered the same timeframe, the weather agency said and noted that precipitation had increased since 1930, from about 600 millimetres to almost 700 millimetres from the year 2000 and forward.

However, the snow cover during winter around the country had decreased by 16 days on average for the period between 1991 and 2020 compared to the period between 1961 and 1990.

SMHI stressed that the observations were the averages over a year, and said the picture became more complex as when “investigating smaller regions or different seasons.”

“For instance, the increase of precipitation is mainly related to enhanced precipitation during autumn and winter whereas there are no obvious trends in spring and summer,” SMHI said, adding that “changes in extremes are generally harder to identify.”

The report comes as the UN climate summit COP27 wrapped up in Egypt over the weekend.

While the summit resulted in a landmark deal on funding to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts it also led to criticism and frustration over a failure to be more ambitious on cutting emissions