Greta Thunberg says she is “technically” taking part in her final school strike for climate today – with a warning: “The fight has only just begun.”
The Swedish climate activist who inspired a worldwide youth climate strike movement with her one-person school protest starting in 2018, said although she is graduating from school, “I’ll continue to protest on Fridays”.
The 20-year-old revealed the milestone in a social media post, tweeting: “School strike week 251. Today, I graduate from school, which means I’ll no longer be able to school strike for the climate. This is then the last school strike for me, so I guess I have to write something on this day.”
It was back in August 2018 when she decided not to attend school, protesting outside the Swedish parliament with a handmade banner that read: “School strike for climate”.
She went on to pledge to strike every Friday – and the action grew into a global climate protest.
Reflecting on the last five years, Ms Thunberg wrote: “When I started striking in 2018 I could never have expected that it would lead to anything. After striking every day for three weeks, we were a small group of children who decided to continue doing this every Friday. And we did…
“…We’re still here, and we aren’t planning on going anywhere. Much has changed since we started, and yet we have much further to go.”
She accused “those in power” of putting “greed, profit and economic growth” above the planet, and warned: “We’re rapidly approaching potential nonlinear ecological and climatic tipping points beyond our control.”
The Swede continued: “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.
“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.”
In recent years, figures such as Donald Trump and former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, have criticised Ms Thunberg over her activism and climate views, often taking aim at her publicly on social media.
In November, she hit back at those “who feel so threatened by children just stating facts” during an interview on The Russell Howard Hour on Sky Max, telling the comedian the attention often gives her memes and jokes to use online.
Ms Thunberg has talked about going to university after she completes her secondary education in recent interviews.
She will take part in a special event at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival in August – tickets for which sold out in less than 24 hours, organisers said on Friday.