Greta Thunberg Age, Family, Story, Biography & More

Greta Thunberg

Full NameGreta Ernman Thunberg
ProfessionClimate Activist
Famous ForLeading the school strike for climate outside Swedish Parliament and speaking at the COP24
Physical Stats & More
Eye ColorHazel Blue
Hair ColorLight Ash Blonde
Personal Life
Date of BirthJanuary 3, 2003 (Friday)
Age (as in 2020)17 Years
BirthplaceStockholm, Sweden
Zodiac signCapricorn
HometownStockholm, Sweden
SchoolName Not Known
Educational Qualification9th Standard
Ethnicity/Race Swedish
Food HabitVegetarian (turned vegetarian in her early teens)
HobbiesRiding Bicycle, Reading
Awards, Honors, Achievements • In May 2018, She was one of the winners of Svenska Dagbladet's debate article writing competition on the climate for young people.
• She was also nominated for the electricity company Telge Energi's Children's Climate Prize, but she declined because the finalists would have to fly to Stockholm.
• In November 2018, Thunberg was awarded the Fryshuset scholarship of the Young Role Model of the Year.
• In December 2018, Time Magazine named Thunberg one of the world's 25 most influential teenagers of 2018.
• In March 2019, on the occasion of the International Women's Day, Thunberg was proclaimed the most important woman of the year in Sweden.
• In March 2019, three Norwegian lawmakers nominated Thunberg for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
• On March 31, 2019, Greta received the German Goldene Kamera Special Climate Protection award.
Greta Thunberg holding the German Goldene Kamera Special Climate Protection award
• In April 2019, Amnesty International gave her their most prestigious award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award.
Greta Thunberg Amnesty Award 2019
• On July 12, 2019, she was awarded the Geddes Environment Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
Greta Thunberg showing her Geddes Environment Medal
• On September 25, 2019, Greta was named as one of four winners of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, known as Sweden's alternative Nobel Prize.
Greta Thunberg Right Livelihood Award 2019
• On July 20, 2020, she was awarded the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, a Portuguese rights award.
Controversies• Many blogs and magazines have questioned about Thunberg. Most notably, a piece in the right-wing Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche, which investigated why Thunberg was getting so much support, when another teen activist, Izabella Nilsson Jarvandi – who campaigns against migration and "globalism" – barely gets noticed.‏ They accused her mother, a well-known opera singer, to leverage Greta's name for her book's publicity. The PR team of Greta's mother launched the book with a picture of Greta on school strike on Instagram and published an article about her on Facebook.
• An NGO named We Don't Have Time Foundation (WDHT), recruited Thunberg to become an unpaid youth advisor and used Thunberg's name and image without her knowledge or permission to raise millions for WDHT. Thunberg quit her volunteer advisor role with WDHT, saying- "I'm not part of any organization, I'm absolutely independent and do what I do completely for free."
Relationships & More
Sexual Orientation Straight
ParentsFather- Svante Thunberg (Swedish Actor, Producer and Author)
Mother- Malena Ernman (Swedish Opera Singer)
Greta Thunberg's Parents
Greta Thunberg With Her Parents And Sister
GrandparentsGrand-father- Olof Thunberg (Swedish actor and director)
Greta Thunberg Grandfather Olof Thunberg
Grand-mother- Mona Andersson
SiblingsBrother- None
Sister- Beata Thunberg
Greta Thunberg With Her Sister Beata
Favorite Things
Favorite FoodSalads, Falafel, and Noodles

Greta Thunberg

Some Lesser Known Facts About Greta Thunberg

  • Greta Thunberg is a Swedish climate activist; campaigning against global warming and climate change.
  • She was born into a modest family in the capital city of Stockholm in Sweden.
  • Her mother, Malena Ernman, is a popular opera singer in Sweden; while her father, Svante Thunberg, is a Swedish actor.

    Greta Thunberg With Her Parents And Sister Beata

    Greta Thunberg With Her Parents And Sister Beata

  • Interestingly, Greta’s father, Svante Thunberg, is the descendant of Svante Arrhenius, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who first calculated the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide emissions in 1896, known to some as the “father of climate change science.” She was also named after him.
  • When she was about 8 years old and in the third grade, she first heard about something called”Climate Change” and “Global Warming.”
  • The little Greta started pondering over the concept of climate change and global warming when she was told by her teachers to turn off the lights and save papers. She says-

    They were always talking about how we should turn off lights, save water, not throw out food.”

  • She started feeling strange that even after being aware of the consequences of climate change and global warming, why humans haven’t taken any substantial steps regarding that. Greta says-

    I thought this was very strange. If humans could really change the climate, everyone would be talking about it and people wouldn’t be talking about anything else. But this wasn’t happening.”

  • By the age of 11, she had become ill; thinking over the effects of human activity on climate change. She stopped talking and eating, and, within two months, she lost 10 kg of weight.
  • Later, Greta and her younger sister, Beata, were diagnosed with autism, A.D.H.D. (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), i.e., Asperger’s and other conditions.

    Greta Thunberg With Her Younger Sister Beata

    Greta Thunberg With Her Younger Sister Beata

  • Greta began researching climate change. She gave up eating meat and turned vegan. She also insisted her family turn vegan and give up flying. She says-

    For me none of this is sacrifice, I don’t need those things,” she said. “I understand that some people see it as sacrifice. People don’t want to stop flying but it’s just something we have to do. There’s no other option.”

    Greta Thunberg's Bicycle Standing Outside The Swedish Parliament

    Greta Thunberg’s Bicycle Standing Outside The Swedish Parliament

  • Consequently, her mother, Malena Ernman, gave up her international career because of the climate effects of aviation. Greta’s father, Svante, says-

    Greta forced us to change our lives. I didn’t have a clue about the climate. We started looking into it, reading all the books – she has read them too.”

  • The family has also installed solar batteries and has started growing their own vegetables on an allotment outside the city.

    A Tomato Plant In Greta Thunberg's Own Garden

    A Tomato Plant In Greta Thunberg’s Own Garden

  • On August 20, 2018, when she had just started ninth grade, she went on a school strike and decided not to attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election on September 9, 2018.

    Greta Thunberg's Instagram Post About Her School Strike

    Greta Thunberg’s Instagram Post About Her School Strike

  • Thunberg started protesting by sitting outside the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament, every day during school hours with the sign “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for the climate); handing out leaflets to the passersby that declared: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”

  • After the 2018 Swedish general elections, Thunberg continued to strike only on Fridays, gaining worldwide attention.
  • Initially, nobody supported her protest, and she had to sit alone outside the Swedish Parliament. Later, many school students across the globe got inspired by Greta’s protest and started taking part in student strikes.

  • When Thunberg started her protest, her parents and some of her teachers wanted her to give up her protest and go back to school.
  • In an interview, Thunberg said that she got inspired to begin the climate school strike by the teen activists at Parkland school in Florida, who organized the March For Our Lives.
  • After protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, Greta participated in the Rise for Climate demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels.

  • In October 2018, Greta and her family drove in an electric car to London, where Greta addressed the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ organized by Extinction Rebellion opposite the Houses of Parliament.

    Greta Thunberg On Her Way To London On An Electric Car

    Greta Thunberg On Her Way To London On An Electric Car

  • On November 24, 2018, Thunberg spoke at TEDxStockholm.

  • On December 4, 2018, Greta Thunberg addressed the COP24 United Nations climate change summit.

  • On January 23, 2019, she arrived in Davos after a 32-hour train journey to address at the World Economic Forum; where many delegates had arrived by up to 1500 individual private jet flights.

    Greta Thunberg On Her Way To Davos

    Greta Thunberg On Her Way To Davos

  • Greta considers the famous primatologist Jane Goodall as her hero.

    Greta Thunberg With Jane Goodall

    Greta Thunberg With Jane Goodall

  • Greta is very compassionate towards animals and has two pet dogs at her home in Sweden.

    Greta Thunberg With Her Pet Dogs

    Greta Thunberg With Her Pet Dogs

  • Even after having Asperger’s syndrome, Greta sees her condition not as a disability but as a gift which has helped open her eyes to the climate crisis. She says-

    The best thing about my protest has been to see how more and more people have been coming and getting involved. I don’t care if I get into trouble at school. I believe that one person can make a difference.”

  • In May 2019, at the age of 16, Greta was featured on the cover of the prestigious Time Magazine.

    Greta Thunberg on the cover of Time Magazine

    Greta Thunberg on the cover of Time Magazine

  • The famous artist, Jody Thomas, honored Greta with a stunning street art mural. He painted Thunberg’s portrait on the side of the 15-meter-high Tobacco Factory building in his home city of Bristol, southwest England.

    Greta Thunberg Mural Painted By Jody Thomas

    Greta Thunberg Mural Painted By Jody Thomas

  • In June 2019, Thunberg announced to sail across the Atlantic in a high-speed yacht to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. She onboard a 60 ft racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The yacht is claimed to have zero-emission. After a voyage of 15 days, she arrived in New York on August 28, 2019.

  • In July 2019, the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, declared Thunberg and her climate activism as the “greatest threat” to the fossil fuel industry.
  • In July 2019, she partnered with the popular English band “The 1975” and gave a long voiceover on their new track.

  • On September 16, 2019, she met former President Barack Obama as part of her visit to Washington, DC, to promote environmental issues. Obama said to Thunberg:

    You and me, we’re a team.”

  • On September 23, 2019, Greta opened the United Nations Climate Action Summit in the United Nations (UN) headquarter. Her speech at the Summit was a fierce condemnation of world leaders for failing to take strong measures to combat climate change, she said-

    How dare you”

  • In October 2019, a newly discovered species of beetle, “Nelloptodes gretae,” was named after her. This species of beetle is less than 1mm long and has no wings or eyes. The insect does, however, have two long pigtail-like antennae. Scientist Dr. Michael Darby said he chose the name because he was “immensely impressed” by the Swedish teenager’s environmental campaigning.

    The Beetle Named After Greta Thunberg

    The Beetle Named After Greta Thunberg

  • In November 2019, Leonardo DiCaprio, the famous Hollywood actor and a prominent environmental campaigner, praised Greta Thunberg as a “leader of our time” following their first meeting. While sharing a photo with Greta on his Instagram account, he said,

    It was an honor to spend time with Greta. She and I have made a commitment to support one another, in hopes of securing a brighter future for our planet.” Leonardo DiCaprio with Greta Thunberg

  • In the same month, another Hollywood star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, met Greta; describing her as a “hero.” It wasn’t the first meeting between Greta and Schwarzenegger. In May 2019, she attended the Austrian World Summit in Vienna, organized by Schwarzenegger’s environmental organization #R20. In September 2019, Schwarzenegger offered Ms Thunberg the loan of a Tesla Model 3, so, she could travel using the electric-powered vehicle through the US and Canada.

  • Greta Thunberg’s climate activism on the global stage is often termed as the “Greta Thunberg Effect.”
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