For unapologetically telling truth to power.
Greta speaks unapologetically and truthfully about the threat of climate change. Too many people moderate what they say, and Greta’s ability to state the science and its implications without spin regardless of whether she’s speaking to another 16-year-old or a world leader is exactly what we need.
Being young and having such a simple way of protesting, yet making the difference that she has, makes every young person believe that they have power. She’s challenged young people to join the frontlines and have a say in the affairs of their future. The new generation needs to know they’re important right now as inheritors of inaction.
Her impact has been indelible and inspirational for me since she first started her protest. She has inspired many school children to pay attention to climate and environmental issues and the climate strike movement shows the power that lies in each and every one of us when we relentlessly dedicate ourselves to positive change. In a time of competing headlines, being able to draw attention to an issue of such importance it is a critical part of creating unstoppable momentum in confronting the climate crisis we all face.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist and founder of Fridays for Future. Fridays For Future has been named UN Environment Programme Champion of the Earth, its highest recognition, awarded annually.
Rocky Dawuni is a musician, activist and UN Environment Programme’s Regional Goodwill Ambassador. Follow UNEP at the United Nations Climate Action Summit here.