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15 Best Greta Thunberg Quotes About What It Really Takes To Change The World

greta thunberg quotes on climate change motivational quotes inspiration

Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist — and she's an inspiration. She began protesting last year by sitting on the steps of the Swedish Parliament, every day during school hours for 3 weeks, leading up to the September 9th parliamentary election. Despite being diagnosed with autism, A.D.H.D., and other conditions (along with her sister Beata), since the election, Thunberg returned back to school for 4 days a week, but she still spends her Fridays protesting.

So what is Greta Thunberg trying to do? She's working to persuade Parliament to undertake radical responses to the rapid pace of climate change now — not later.

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Greta Thunberg's mother, Malena Ernman, is very well-known Opera singer who published a book detailing the struggle their family faced with two children with special needs. Thus, because of her Ernman's celebrity status, Thunberg's protest has gained more recognition than anticipated.

Greta Thunberg is not only bringing climate change to the forefront of discussions in parliament, but she is also showing the potential special needs can have in politics or in other professions. Because of her "gift" of Asperger’s syndrome, she's able to focus on the issues from a different perspective. In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today Programme presenter Nick Robinson, Greta Thunberg said,

“It makes me different, and being different is a gift, I would say. It also makes me see things from outside the box. I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things.”

She is showing the world that people diagnosed with conditions like Autism and A.D.H.D. — and others who have special needs  can do anything they set their minds to — that no one should feel limited by a disability, and that anyone can change the world


A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:26am PDT

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Greta Thunberg first became interested in climate change when she was 9 years old. Since beginning her research, she stopped eating meat, won’t buy anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to her own survival, and because of the emissions that planes give off, her family decided not to fly on airplanes anymore. They use only solar power in their house and grow their own vegetables.

For emergencies, they use their electric car when it’s absolutely necessary, while at other times, they opt to use bikes instead.

In her efforts to bring to light the proper way the government needs to approach climate change, Greta has written and published Sweden is not a Role Model which lays out the best plan to address climate change.

In the past year, she has spoken at the UN and Davos, met the French president, Emmanuel Macron, stood at the podium with the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and has been endorsed by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. 

Greta Thunberg also agreed to speak at the People’s Climate March rally in front of thousands of people, despite her parents' hesitations (Greta previously had episodes of selective mutism, so her parents were afraid that she would freeze up and not be able to finish the speech). But Greta gave her speech in full with grace. 

Lastly, Greta has started her own activist group, FridaysForFuture. Her group gives all the activist groups throughout the world who focus on climate change one single umbrella to rally under. Her foundation details the number of strikes/protests that have occurred, how many people participated, how FridaysForFuture works and when and where the next movements will occur.


A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on Feb 2, 2019 at 6:09am PST

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Take a look at some of the best Greta Thunberg quotes from her speeches and interviews. The inspirational quotes below detail information about herself, her drive for climate change and what other’s have said about her dedication to the cause.

1. When you are born a little bit different. 

“I see the world a bit different, from another perspective.”  — Greta Thunberg

2. Autistic children can focus on specific tasks and master them. 

“I have a special interest. It’s very common that people on the autism spectrum have a special interest.” — Greta Thunberg

3. Even though it is preached in school, nothing is being done about climate change.

“They [teachers] were always talking about how we should turn off lights, save water, not throw out food.” “I asked why and they explained about climate change. And 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.” — Greta Thunberg

4. Addressing climate change is very urgent.

“The climate is not going to collapse because some party got the most votes. The politics that’re needed to prevent the climate catastrophe — it doesn’t exist today. We need to change the system as if we were in crisis as if there were a war going on.” — Greta Thunberg

5. Even though you are a kid, you can stand out and make a difference.

“I have always been that girl in the back who doesn’t say anything. I thought I couldn’t make a difference because I was too small.” — Greta Thunberg

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6. Greta educated her parents on climate change and they made extreme changes in their everyday lives. 

“They just told me everything will be all right. That didn’t help, of course, but it was good to talk. And then I kept on going, talking about this all the time and showing my parents pictures, graphs and films, articles and reports. And, after a while, they started listening to what I actually said. That’s when I kind of realized I could make a difference. And how I got out of that depression was that I thought: it is just a waste of time feeling this way because I can do so much good with my life. I am trying to do that still now.” — Greta Thunberg

7. She always had a comeback and knowledge. Greta can change others point of views. 

Her father said about her, “Over the years, I ran out of arguments. She kept showing us documentaries, and we read books together. Before that, I really didn’t have a clue. I thought we had the climate issue sorted. She changed us and now she is changing a great many other people. There was no hint of this in her childhood. It’s unbelievable. If this can happen, anything can happen.” — Greta Thunberg

8. Change needs to happen now. 

“I don’t want you to feel hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” — Greta Thunberg

9. Greta is humble and wants to change how the world is being run. 

"I don't care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money." — Greta Thunberg

10. It's time to do something different.

"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."  — Greta Thunberg

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11. When world leaders don't pay attention.

"We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us again. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time."  — Greta Thunberg

12. Children can do more than they realize. 

"But I've learned 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."  — Greta Thunberg

13. What will be left if we keep on the same path?

"The future of all coming generations rests on your shoulders. What you do now, we children can't undo in the future. So please, treat the crisis as the crisis it is and give us a future."  — Greta Thunberg

14. When you succeed, even though everything is set against you automatically. 

"We proved that it does matter what you do and that no one is too small to make a difference."  — Greta Thunberg

15. We already know what to do, but it's just enacting them. That's the hard part. 

"People tell me I should study to become a climate scientist so 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."  — Greta Thunberg

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If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got the best quotes to share and savor. For quotes from the most inspiring celebs, activists, and poets, look no further! You might even find the quote that motivates the best parts of your life (and love!) forever.

Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.