Media, opinion and knowledge

Greta Thunberg speeches

Greta Thunberg speech at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg 2019-04-16


Greta Thunberg "You can't just sit around waiting for hope to come" 2019-02-21 in Brussels


Greta Thunberg Full Speech 2019-02-21 in Brussels: "We want politicians to listen to the scientists"


Greta Thunberg "Our House is on Fire" 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos


Greta Thunberg challenging The World Economic Forum in Davos - January 22 2019


Greta Thunberg speech at COP24 Dec 12 2018


Greta Thunberg speech at COP24 Dec 3 2018


Greta Thunberg speech at TEDxStockholm


Greta Thunberg speech at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg 2019-04-16




Greta Thunberg "You can't just sit around waiting for hope to come" 2019-02-21 in Brussels




Greta Thunberg Full Speech 2019-02-21 in Brussels: "We want politicians to listen to the scientists"




Greta Thunberg "Our House is on Fire" 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos


Our house is on fire, I am here to say our house is on fire. According to the IPCC we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.

In that time unprecedented changes in all aspects of society needs to have taken place including a reduction of our co2 emissions by at least 50% and please note that those numbers do not include the aspect of equity which is absolutely necessary to make the Paris agreement work on a global scale. Nor does it include tipping points or feedback loops like the extreme powerful methane gas being released from the thawing Arctic permafrost.

At places like Davos people like to tell success stories but their financial success has come with an unthinkable price tag. And on climate change we have to acknowledge that we have failed. All political movements in their present form have done so. And the media has failed to create broad public awareness. But Homo sapiens have not yet failed. Yes we are failing but there is still time to turn everything around we can still fix this, we still have everything in our own hands. But unless we recognize the overall failures of our current systems we must probably those probably don't stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people and now is not the time for speaking politely, we're focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now it's the time to speak clearly. Solving the client crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens has have ever faced.

The main solution however is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. And either we do that or we don't. You say nothing in life is black or white but that is a lie, a very dangerous lie. Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming or we don't. Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond the human control, or we don't. Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don't. That is as black or white as it gets.

There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Now we all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the future living conditions for humankind, or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.

Some say that we should not engage in activism, instead we should leave everything to our politicians and just vote for change instead. But what do we do when there is no political will? What do we do when the politics needn't are nowhere in sight?

Here in Davos, just like everywhere else, everyone is talking about money. It seems that money and growth are our only main concerns. And since the climate crisis is a crisis that has never once been treated as a crisis, people are simply not aware of the full consequences of our everyday life.

People are not aware that there is such a thing as a carbon budget, and just how incredible small that remaining carbon budget is. And that needs to change today. No other current challenge can match the importance of establishing a wide public awareness and understanding of our rapidly disappearing carbon budgets that should and must become a new global currency in the very heart of future and present economics.

We are now at a time in history where everyone with any insight of the climate crisis that threatens our civilization and the entire biosphere must speak out in clear language, no matter how uncomfortable and unprofitable that may be. We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint is, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform the bigger your responsibility.

Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don't want your hope, I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.


Greta Thunberg challenging The World Economic Forum in Davos - January 22 2019


Some people say that we are not doing enough to fight climate change. But that is not true. Because to "not do enough" you have to do something. And the truth is we are basically not doing anything.

Yes, some people are doing more than they can but they are too few or too far away from power to make a difference today.

Some people say that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is just another convenient lie. Because if everyone is guilty then no one is to blame.

And someone is to blame. Some people - some companies and some decision m akers in particular - has known exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money.

I want to challenge those companies and those decision makers into real and bold climate action. To set their economic goals aside and to safeguard the future living conditions for human kind.

I don't believe for one secondthat you will rise to that challenge. But I want to ask you all the same.

I ask you to prove me wrong. For the sake of your children, for the sake of your grandchildren. For the sake of life and this beautiful living planet.

I ask you to stand on the right side of history. I ask you to pledge to do everything in your power to push your own business or government in line with a 1.5 degree world.

Will you pledge to do that? Will you pledge to join me, and the people all around the world in doing whatever it takes.

#WhateverItTakes

Greta Thunberg addressed the COP24 plenary session December 12 2018

Greta Thunberg in Katowice, Poland, condemning global inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change.


My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old and I'm from Sweden. I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now.

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn't matter what we do. But I've learned that you are never too small to make a difference and if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.

But to do that we have to speak clearly. No matter how uncomfortable that may be. 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. But I don't care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the Living Planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity with a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078 I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn't do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else and yet you're stealing their future in front of their very eyes. Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible there is no hope.

We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within this system are so impossible to find then maybe we should change the system itself. We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people!
Thank You!


Greta Thunberg speech to UN secretary general António Guterres in Katowice: ”Our leaders behave like children” - Dec 3 2018



For 25 years countless of people have stood in front of the United Nations climate conferences, asking our nations leaders to stop the emissions. But, clearly this has not worked since the emissions just continue to rise.

So I will not ask them anything.

Instead I will ask the media to start treating the crisis as a crisis.

Instead I will ask the people around the world to realize that our political leaders have failed us.

Because we are facing an existential threat and there is no time to continue down this road of madness.

Rich countries like Sweden need to start reducing emissions by at least 15% every year to reach the 2 degree warming target. You would think the media and everyone of our leaders would be talking about nothing else – but no one ever even mentions it.

Nor does hardly anyone ever talk about that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with up to 200 species going extinct every single day.

Furthermore does no one ever speak about the aspect of equity clearly stated everywhere in the Parisagreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale. That means that rich countries like mine need to get down to zero emissions, within 6–12 years with todays emission speed, so that people in poorer countries can highten their standard of living by building some of the infrastructure that we have already built. Such as hospitals, electricity and clean drinking water.

Because how can we expect countries like India, Colombia or Nigeria to care about the climate crisis if we, who already have everything, don’t care even a second about our actual commitments to the Paris agreement?

So when school started in August this year I sat myself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament. I school striked for the climate.

Some people say that I should be in school instead. Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can ”solve the climate crisis”. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions.

And why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future? And what is the point of learning facts when the most important facts clearly means nothing to our society?

Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

So we can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again.

We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not. The people will rise to the challenge. And since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.

Thank You!



School strike for climate - save the world by changing the rules | Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm



When I was about 8 years old I first heard about something called climate change or global warming. Apparently that was something humans had created by our way of living. I was told to turn off the lights to save energy and to recycle paper to save resources.

I remember thinking that it was very strange that humans who are an animal species among others could be capable of changing the Earth's climate. Because if we were and if it was really happening we wouldn't be talking about anything else. As soon as you turn on the TV everything would be about that. Headlines, radio, newspapers, you would never read or hear about anything else. As if there was a world war going on.

But no one ever talked about it. If burning fossil fuels was so bad that it threatened our very existence, how could we just continue like before? Why were there no restrictions? Why wasn't it made illegal? To me that did not add up, it was too unreal.

So when I was 11 I became ill. I fell into depression. I stopped talking and I stopped eating. In two months I lost about 10 kilos of weight. Later on I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome OCD and selective mutism. That basically means I only speak when I think it is necessary. Now is one of those moments.

For those of us who are on the spectrum, almost everything is black or white. We aren't very good at lying and we usually don't enjoy participating in the social game that the rest of you seem so fond of. I think in many ways that we artistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange. Especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis, where everyone keeps saying that climate change is an existential threat and the most important issue of all. And yet they just carry on like before.

I don't understand that, because if the emissions have to stop, then we must stop the emissions. To me that is black or white. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Either we go on as a civilization or we don't. We have to change.

Rich countries like Sweden need to start reducing emissions by at least 15 percent every year. And that is so that we can stay below a two degree warming target. Yet, as the IPCC have recently demonstrated, aming instead for 1.5 degrees Celsius would significantly reduce the climate impacts. But we can only imagine what that means for reducing emissions.

You would think the media and every one of our leaders would be talking about nothing else, but they never even mention it. Nor does anyone ever mention the greenhouse gases already locked in the system. Nor that air pollution is hiding a warming, so that when we stop burning fossil fuels, we already have an extra level of warming, perhaps as high as 0.5 to 1.1 degrees Celsius.

Furthermore does hardly anyone speak about the fact that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. With up to 200 species going extinct every single day. That the extinction rate is today between 1000 and 10,000 times higher than what is seen as normal.

Nor does hardly anyone ever speak about the aspect of equity or climate justice, clearly stated everywhere in the Paris agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale. That means that rich countries need to get down to zero emissions within 6 to 12 years with today's emission speed. And that is so that people in poorer countries can have a chance to heighten the standard of living by building some of the infrastructure that we have already built, such as roads, schools, hospitals, clean drinking water, electricity and so on.

Because how can we expect countries like India or Nigeria to care about the climate crisis if we who already have everything don't care even a second about it, or our actual commitments to the Paris agreement. So why are we not reducing our emissions? Why are they in fact still increasing? Are we knowingly causing a mass extinction? Are we evil?

No of course not. People keep doing what they do because the vast majority doesn't have a clue about the actual consequences of our everyday life. And they don't know that rapid change is required. We all think we know and we all think everybody knows. But we don't. Because how could we?

If there really was a crisis and if this crisis was caused by our emissions, you would at least see some signs. Not just flooded cities, tens of thousands of dead people and whole nations leveled to piles of torn down buildings. You would see some restrictions. But no. And no one talks about it.

There are no emergency meetings, no headlines, no breaking news. No one is acting as if we were in a crisis. Even most climate scientists or green politicians keep on flying around the world, eating meat and dairy.

If I live to be 100, I will be alive in the year 2103. When you think about the future today, you don't think beyond the year 2050. By then, I will in the best case, not even have lived half of my life. What happens next?

The year 2078 I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children or grandchildren, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you, the people who were around back in 2018. Maybe they will ask why you didn't do anything while this still was time to act?

What we do or don't do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. What we do or don't do right now, me and my generation can't undo in the future.

So when school started in August of this year I decided that this was enough. I sat myself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament. I school striked for the climate.

Some people say that I should be in school instead. Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can "solve" the climate crisis. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.

And why should I be studying for if future that soon will be no more? When no one is doing anything whatsoever to save that future? And what is the point of learning facts in the school system, when the most important facts, given by the finest science of that same school system, clearly means nothing to our politicians and our society?

Some people say that Sweden is just a small country and that it doesn't matter what we do. But I think that if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not coming to school for a few weeks, imagine what we could all do together if you wanted to.

Now we're almost at the end of my talk and this is where people usually start talking about hope - solar panels, wind power, circular economy and so on.

But I'm not going to do that. We've had 30 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. And yes, we do need hope, of course we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.

So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then hope will come.

Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So we can't save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.

Thank you!