It's been a pretty busy year for climate change activist, Greta Thunberg. The sixteen-year-old addressed world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit, delivering a stinging speech about the urgency of the climate crisis. Then, after crossing paths with no other than President Trump in the lobby, fired the ultimate death stare, which subsequently went viral online.
The teen then bagged the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, which is widely known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," for her pioneering work in the youth climate change movement, scooping up a pretty impressive cash prize. But then, after winning another environmental award, Greta has spoken out against the prize.
So what now? Well none other than Leonardo DiCaprio spent time with the activist and concluded that she is a 'leader of our time'.
Scroll down to learn more about their meet-up.
Greta Thunberg has become the face of the youth climate change movement.
Just a year ago, she was relatively unknown.
via: TwitterGreta would regularly sit on her own outside Swedish parliament, first staging a "School Strike for Climate" in August last year. In the weeks leading up to the country’s general election, Thunberg sat on the steps outside of the parliament building in Stockholm, holding up the now-iconic sign that read “Skolstrejk För Klimatet" — translating to “school strike for climate."
The teen sat outside the building during school hours for 3 weeks.Paris Agreement. By sacrificing her education to protest for action, the teen began to conjure up attention and gain traction online.
Her unwavering commitment to the environment has woken the rest of the world.
Thunberg is known for delivering blistering, matter-of-fact speeches about the urgency of what she calls the "climate crisis."
Her message is clear: we need to act now.According to the United Nations, humanity has under twelve years to prevent a climate change crisis. A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the end of 2018 called for immediate “unprecedented changes" to all aspects of society.
If we do not act, the future, if there is one at all, will be very bleak.
Thunberg has gone to great lengths to fight her cause.
Little by little, her trailblazing activism seems to be sinking in.Live Kindly, earlier this year, Mohammed Barkindo — the secretary-general of OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) — acknowledged public opinion surrounding the climate crisis as a threat to the oil industry.
And her youth school strike movement is growing on a mass scale.
But, Thunberg's movement has been met with waves of criticism.
But her critics don't phase her...
On my way to the United Nations. Today I’m speaking in the General Assembly at the Climate Action Summit. This is s… https://t.co/MXRAyXjec0— Greta Thunberg (@Greta Thunberg)1569243289.0
The event is dedicated to world leaders sharing climate solutions and new pledges for climate action.
As she spoke, the teen got visibly emotional.
via: YouTube"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!" She continued: "How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you are doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight." "You say you 'hear' us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that."
She concluded with a poignant message: change is coming, whether you like it or not.
via: YouTube"You are failing us. But young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. "We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not."
After her speech, the teen activist happened to cross paths with Donald Trump in the lobby.
I’ll tell you one thing Greta Thunberg does not have and that’s a future in professional poker. https://t.co/cAznzjWbeW— 🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈 (@🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈)1569308707.0
The video has gone viral online.When faced with one of the world's most powerful leaders, Thunberg remains fearless, and her death stare has become something of an internet sensation.
As you'd expect, Donald Trump had something to say about the whole thing.In usual Trump-style, he took to Twitter to seemingly mock the teen, writing, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!" above a video of her speech.
His swipe radiated sarcasm.
@realDonaldTrump The President of the United States making a sarcastic, snide comment to make fun of a 16-year-old… https://t.co/GOHBf2wpum— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1569296379.0
It's been a busy year for the teen.2019 Right Livelihood Award, which is widely known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize."
Thunberg was honored with the prize for her "inspiring" work.he Right Livelihood Foundation, "Thunberg is the powerful voice of a young generation that will have to bear the consequences of today's political failure to stop climate change."
Thunberg joins 3 other winners who bagged the award too.Brazilian indigenous leader, Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people, Chinese women’s rights lawyer, Guo Jianmei, and Western Sahara human rights defender, Aminatou Haidar also share the award with the teen.
Thunberg, along with the other winners, has scooped up a pretty impressive cash prize.According to Reuters, the 4 winners will each receive a cash award of one million Swedish krona ($103,000).
Here's how Thunberg reacted to her win...
Although she was quick to say that she isn't the sole winner.
And this week, it was announced Thunberg's award season wasn't over.
via: Nordic CouncilShe was awarded a coveted Environmental Prize from the Nordic Council, which comes with a whopping $400,o00 cash prize.
But Thunberg had a rather unexpected reaction.While expressing gratitude for being chosen, she's also decided to turn down the award - and she took to social media to explain why.
Thunberg declined the award in a lengthy Instagram post.
"The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues."
"In Sweden, we live as if we had about 4 planets according to WWF and Global Footprint Network."
"The gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 1,5 or even 2 degrees - and politics that run the Nordic countries is gigantic."
"The Paris Agreement, which all of the Nordic countries have signed, is based on the aspect of equity, which means that richer countries must lead the way."
"Best wishes, Greta Thunberg."
Now Leonardo DiCaprio has joined Greta's fans.
He shared a photo of her on Instagram.
There are few times in human history where voices are amplified at such pivotal moments and in such transformational ways - but Greta Thunberg has become a leader of our time.
'I am optimistic about what the future holds'.
History will judge us for what we do today to help guarantee that future generations can enjoy the same liveable planet that we have so clearly taken for granted. I hope that Greta's message is a wake-up call to world leaders everywhere that the time for inaction is over. It is because of Greta, and young activists everywhere that I am optimistic about what the future holds.
He promises to support her.
It was an honour 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.
DiCaprio is an environmentalist himself.
Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat our species has to face. We need to work together and stop procrastinating.With DiCaprio and Thunberg both watching each other's backs, it seems that this is only the beginning for environmental action.