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Greta is graduating: Swedish climate activist stages final school strike for the climate

Greta Thunberg holds a sign reading, "School strike for the climate" as she attends a climate march, in Turin, Italy, Friday 13 December 2019.
Greta Thunberg holds a sign reading, "School strike for the climate" as she attends a climate march, in Turin, Italy, Friday 13 December 2019. Copyright AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Copyright AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
By Angela Symons
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Despite graduating, the Swedish climate activist behind the global school strikes says ‘The fight has only just begun’.

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Greta Thunberg is staging her final School Strike for Climate today (9 June).

The Swedish activist sparked the global youth movement in 2018 when she encouraged students to skip classes on Fridays to demand action against climate change.

Since then, millions of students in more than 180 countries have participated in the Fridays for Future strikes, calling for the fossil fuel industry to transition to renewable energy, among other demands.

“When I started striking in 2018 I could never have expected that it would lead to anything,” Greta tweeted this morning.

“Some more people joined, and quite suddenly this was a global movement growing every day.”

9 June marks strike week 251 for Thunberg. 

“Today, I graduate from school, which means I’ll no longer be able to school strike for the climate,” tweets Greta. “This is then the last school strike for me.”

But this definitely isn’t the end of her activism at large.

“We’re still here, and we aren’t planning on going anywhere,” she continues. “Much has changed since we started, and yet we have much further to go.”

Greta will continue to fight for Indigenous rights

In a thread on Twitter this morning, Greta took the opportunity to highlight the socioeconomic factors underpinning the climate crisis.

“We are still moving in the wrong direction, where those in power are allowed to sacrifice marginalised and affected people and the planet in the name of greed, profit and economic growth,” she tweeted.

Greta is a vocal advocate of Indigenous communities around the world and has supported campaigns against fossil fuel projects on sacred land from the US to Australia.

Upholding the need for a just transition to renewables, she also recently stood with Sami people in Norway protesting against wind farms occupying land traditionally used by Indigenous reindeer herders.

Yesterday, she received a mix of criticism and praise for calling the collapse of the Kakhovka dam “a continuation of Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”

The hydroelectric power station dam was blown up on Tuesday morning. Ukraine's military authorities said it was destroyed by Russian forces, while Russian authorities blame Ukraine.

The fallout will likely destroy hundreds of rare animal and plant species, according to the Ukrainian environment ministry.

AP Photo/Francois Mori, File
Greta Thunberg leads a student march through Paris, 25 September 2019.AP Photo/Francois Mori, File

Greta urges action on her final School Strike for Climate

Emphasising the urgent need to reverse global warming, Greta warns “We’re rapidly approaching potential nonlinear ecological and climatic tipping points beyond our control. And in so many parts of the world, we are even speeding up the process.”

Earlier this month, scientists warned that Earth has pushed past seven out of eight scientifically established safe limits for life and is now heading into “the danger zone”. 

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We must change our use of coal, oil and natural gas and better manage our land and water to prevent slipping even further, they said.

AP Photo/Manish Swarup
A Fridays for Future climate protest in New Delhi, India on Friday 12 April 2019.AP Photo/Manish Swarup

“There are probably many of us who graduate who now wonder what kind of future it is that we are stepping into, even though we did not cause this crisis,” Greta continues.

“We who can speak up have a duty to do so. In order to change everything, we need everyone. I’ll continue to protest on Fridays, even though it’s not technically ‘school striking’.

"We simply have no other option than to do everything we possibly can. The fight has only just begun.”

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