CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old student from Sweden who captured the world’s attention after shaming climate change negotiators at a United Nations climate summit, is coming to North Carolina.
Thunberg, who describes herself as a “climate and environmental activist with Asperger’s,” said on Twitter that she plans to join the climate strike in Charlotte from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
“See you there!” she said.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) November 7, 2019
In the COP24 summit that ended on Dec. 15 after two weeks of tense negotiations in Poland, Thunberg confronted United Nations climate change negotiators for not taking enough action in the effort to curb climate change.
“You are not mature enough to tell it like is,” she said. “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.”
The climate talks resulted in nearly 200 nations agreeing to a set of rules that will govern the Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial levels. Even the negotiators know they’re not doing nearly enough to reach that goal and avoid disastrous effects of climate chance, which include the end of coral reefs, rising seas, stronger superstorms and deadlier heatwaves.
Thunberg and other young people emerged as among the strongest moral voices at the talks, which went into overtime amid disputes about the scientific consensus on global warming, which has shown for decades that burning coal, oil and gas wreaks havoc on people and the planet.
The teen has inspired thousands of young people around the world to walk out of their schools on Fridays to demand adults take more action to protect their futures and those of future generations. She decided to walk out of her own school in Sweden, she told CNN, by herself. No one joined her the first day, she said. Then she kept at it, inspiring thousands.
“People started joining me,” she said.
Thunberg said she was inspired by the school walkouts in the United States that followed the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
She uses the hashtags #climatestrike and #fridaysforfuture.
“We have done this many times before and with so little results,” she told CNN. “Something big needs to happen. People need to realize our political leaders have failed us. And we need to take action into our own hands.”