09 June 2023

Greta Thunberg says ‘fight only just begun’ after her final school strike

09 June 2023

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has taken part in her final school strike to draw attention to climate change.

Ms Thunberg, 20, started staging Friday protests outside the Swedish parliament during school hours in 2018. Teenagers from around the world followed her lead, leading to an international student movement called Fridays for Future.

The campaigner has now graduated from high school and noted that her future Friday activities “technically” will not be school striking. But in a tweet, she vowed to continue protesting, saying: “The fight has only just begun.”

“We are still moving in the wrong direction, where those in power are allowed to sacrifice,” Ms Thunberg wrote on Twitter. “We’re rapidly approaching potential non-linear ecological and climatic tipping points beyond our control.”

As a teenager, Ms Thunberg was invited to speak to political and business leaders at UN conferences and the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. She also was named Time magazine’s youngest Person of the Year in 2019 and received several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

For her final school strike outside parliament, Ms Thunberg posed with a Swedish-language sign while wearing the cap that high school graduates typically wear in Sweden.

American singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith, who was in Stockholm for a concert on Friday as part of a world tour, showed up at the demonstration and told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter she got tears in her eyes when meeting Ms Thunberg.

“This is Greta Thunberg, faithfully taking her Friday School Strike for Climate Action. She graduates today, and we extend our gratitude and congratulations,” Smith wrote on Instagram.

Ms Thunberg has urged the media to focus on other young activists. Fridays for Future participants planned to protest outside UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Friday to urge governments to do more to curb global warming.

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