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Greta Thunberg arrives in the United States

Greta Thunberg arrives in the United States

by Lea Meimerstorf -
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Greta Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament building in 2018

Greta Thunberg protesting in front of the Swedish parliament building in 2018. (photo credit: Anders Hellberg/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish activist who started the worldwide youth climate demonstrations known as “Fridays for Future”, just arrived in the USA to participate in the upcoming Climate Summit in New York on the 23rdof September 2019.

In August 2018, 15-year-old Greta was so disappointed with her government not acting upon the pressing climate threats visible in increasing global emissions, rising sea levels, biodiversity loss, global warming, air pollution and a countless amount of natural catastrophes that she decided to skip school and demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament. Other students joined her, starting an international movement organizing worldwide school strikes, every Friday, ever since Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2018. Even in the US, where many people haven’t heard of neither Great Thunberg nor her “Fridays for Future” movement, school strikes were held in over 500 places, last Friday alone. The young generation demands actions instead of hopeful words. As Greta Thunberg said in her recent TEDx talk in Stockholm: “Everything needs to change and it has to start today!”. 

U.S. House Representative Kathy Castor talks with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in the Congress

U.S. House Representative Kathy Castor talks with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in the Congress (Photo credit: Rep. Kathy Castor on Twitter, public domain)


In order to participate in the upcoming United Nations’ Climate Action Summit in New York as well as the COP 25 climate change conference in Santiago de Chile, later this year, Greta sailed all the way over the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK. The 60 ft racing yacht “The Malizia II” allowed her an emission-free journey due to solar panels and underwater turbines. Greta and the crew set off on August the 14thand arrived in New York City on the 28th. The 16-year-old Greta has used her time since the arrival well and spoke in front of the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis as well as the Congress, met with former President Barack Obama, received an Amnesty International’s award, and lead a major climate change demonstration in New York City on Friday the 20thof September. 1.1 million students were excused to join the strike by the city’s public schools. (To see other locations that participated in this strike as well as find cities near you where you can join the demonstrations visit the Global Climate Strikes website.)

On Monday, when the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit is being held, Greta Thunberg will be striking again. She and the countless other young strikers demand for immediate actions and concrete plans to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. On Saturday, September 21st, before the summit, the UN Youth Climate Summit enables young leaders and activists to discuss their concerns and solutions and present them to international politicians and world leaders. Following the summit, a second worldwide “Fridays for Future” strike is planned for the 27thof September. 


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Lea Meimerstorf

Lea Meimerstorf

Lea Meimerstorf is a primary school teacher student in the 2nd Master's semester at Leuphana University Lüneburg. Her subjects are English and German. She has been supporting Teach About U.S. as a project assistant since 2019.

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