Swedish student on strike to raise awareness about climate crisis 

Greta Thunberg is 15 years old and cannot vote in the Swedish election this year. So she's found her own way of making sure her voice is heard.

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Swedish student on strike to raise awareness about climate crisis  - NewsMavens
Greta Thunberg, YouTube

Why this story matters:

Greta Thunberg is holding a "strike" every day from the start of the autumn term until Sweden's September 9 election, meaning she will miss three weeks of school in total.

She is instead spending her time protesting about climate change outside the Swedish parliament in a spot passed by hundreds of politicians, ordinary professionals, and tourists every day. And she's not alone: the school strike started as an individual effort, but Greta has been joined by other students, teachers, parents and others who support her goal of pushing climate issues up the agenda.

In the interview recommended below, she explains how she came up with the idea of the school strike, how it's gone so far, and what she's hoping to gain.

Overall, she says she wants to see politicians show they care about climate change "by talking about it, by prioritizing the climate, by treating it as the crisis it is".

You can also read her explain why she protests in her own words here.

Details from the story:

  • School is compulsory between the ages of six and 16 in Sweden
  • Recent wildfires across Sweden have made climate change the second most important issue to voters, according to opinion polls, with only immigration considered a more pressing issue
  • Sweden is currently ruled by a coalition government made up of the centre-left Social Democrats and the Green Party, which entered government for the first time in 2014
  • While several dozen people have joined Greta's strike in Stockholm, the teenager has also urged other Swedes to protest outside their own town halls
  • The protest has been widely reported in Sweden, and has even gained attention internationally
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