Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist who spearheaded the Fridays for Future global student climate strikes, has returned to school after her “gap year” of campaigning. Over the past year, the 17-year-old has been the face of the youth climate movement and travelled the world by boat to spread the message on the climate emergency.
Swedish climate campaigner and environmental activist has announced that she is heading back to the classroom after a year off school. In a tweet, Thunberg said: “My gap year from school is over, and it feels so great to finally be back in school again!”
High school classes are resuming this week in Sweden. Thunberg did not reveal which city she is in or which school she is attending.
Since the previous school year ended in June 2019, the teenager has been travelling around the world and conducting her studies remotely. Instead of flying, Thunberg chose to travel across the Atlantic by sailboat to highlight the hefty carbon footprint of air travel, inspiring more to join the flygskam trend.
She first shot to fame in 2018 after beginning her solo protests outside Sweden’s parliament in Stockholm, leading thousands of students around the world to take to the streets, ultimately kickstarting the Fridays for Future student climate strikes. Thunberg has since been invited to speak at high-profile events, from United Nations conferences to the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
At Davos, the young campaigner had stern words for world leaders, politicians and CEOs. She told the crowd of adults in plain and simple terms: “When we children tell you to panic, we’re not telling you to go on like before. We’re not telling you to rely on technologies that don’t even exist today at scale and that science says perhaps never will.”
“Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else.”
Thunberg has won multiple awards for her activism, including being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, breaking records as the youngest person ever to win the award, and PETA’s Youth Role Model of the Year.
However, the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic this year has stalled Thunberg’s efforts to hold mass in-person rallies and youth student strikes. In order to keep the momentum going for climate action, Thunberg has asked her fellow climate activists to go digital with their weekly strikes with the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline. On Twitter, Thunberg urged for the world to “unite behind experts and the science” to tackle both the threat posed by the coronavirus and climate change.
Last month, Thunberg slammed EU politicians for failing to ensure that climate action and sustainability will be placed at the centre of coronavirus rebuilding packages. “As long as the climate crisis is not being treated as a crisis, the changes that are necessary will not happen.”
Lead image courtesy of AP.