“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.” Listen to an excerpt about Greta Thunberg from English for NGOs Student’s book, page 48.

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Audio Transcript for RECORDING #5 GRETA THUNBERG

Background information

Greta Thunberg (born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish climate activist. She is known for striking outside the Swedish parliament building to raise climate change activism, speaking at TEDxStockholm, and addressing the COP24 UN climate conference.

On August 20, 2018, Thunberg, then in ninth grade, decided not to attend school until the 2018 Sweden General Election on September 9, after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden. Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement, and she protested by sitting outside the Riksdag every day during school hours with the sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (“School Strike for Climate”).

After the general election, she continued to strike only on Fridays, which gained worldwide attention. Similar protests were organized in other countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland. In Australia, thousands of school students were inspired by Thunberg to strike on Fridays, ignoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison‘s comments of “more learning in schools and less activism.” She participated in the Rise for Climate demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels and the Declaration of Rebellion organized by Extinction Rebellion in a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>London.

On November 24, 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm. Towards the conclusion of her talk, Thunberg said, “We’ve had thirty years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas. And I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work. Because if it would have, the emissions would have gone down by now— they haven’t.” On December 4, 2018, Thunberg addressed the COP24 United Nations Climate Change Summit. On December 12, 2018, Thunberg again addressed the COP24 plenary assembly, stating, “You only speak of a green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

In December 2018, Time magazine named Thunberg one of the world’s 25 most influential teenagers.