After 251 weeks, Greta Thunberg announces on Twitter that she will take to the streets for the last time for the climate instead of sitting in class. What's next for "Fridays For Future"?
Stockholm – It's been half a decade since climate activist Greta Thunberg launched her first school strike. In August 2018, the then 15-year-old Swede took her place in front of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm, armed with her sign emblazoned with "Skolstrejk för klimatet" (School strike for the climate). Their goal: to raise awareness of climate change. And it still is.
"Fridays For Future" activists are also active in Germany – in the future probably without a figurehead Thunberg
Over time, this protest action gained more and more support. Students from all over the world joined her. This is how the climate strike movement "Fridays For Future" (in German: "Fridays for the Future") was finally formed. Since then, Greta Thunberg has become a figurehead of the youth movement that challenges politics and society.
Since then, the "Fridays For Future" activists have also gained more and more notoriety in Germany. In an interview with the TV station Phoenix, the prominent climate protection activist Luisa Neubauer expresses criticism of the German government's climate policy – she is particularly dissatisfied with Olaf Scholz.
"Today, after 251 weeks of strikes," Thunberg says on her Twitter account that it will be her "last school strike." Since the now 20-year-old is graduating from school, there will be no more protest actions for her instead of classes. But the end of their school years does not mean the end of their protests: "The fight has only just begun," writes Thunberg.
Last "Climate Friday" for Greta Thunberg after five years: schoolgirl draws a sober balance
The global climate movement "Fridays For Future" has achieved a lot since its inception. It has helped to raise global awareness and awareness of the climate crisis. As a result, representatives of the climate strike movement were able to hold talks with important political decision-makers and increasingly bring their topics into the public eye on TV talk shows. Through social media, they have also helped to ensure that climate problems are not forgotten. But from the perspective of the protesters, not enough is being done.
In her latest tweet, Thunberg reflects on the past few years and makes a disappointing record. She never expected that her small school strike five years ago would have any effect, let alone start a global movement. "In 2019, millions of students around the world protested for the climate and took to the streets in over 180 countries. When the pandemic hit, we were forced to find new forms of protest. Little by little, we went back to the streets. We are still here and have no plans to retire. Although a lot has changed since our beginnings, there is still a long way to go."
No more "Friday For Future" for founder Greta Thunberg? "I will continue to protest"
Although she is graduating from high school, Greta Thunberg does not plan to stop her protests. On the contrary. "We are still moving in the wrong direction, where those in power are allowed to make sacrifices. In the name of greed, profit and economic growth, people and the planet are marginalized and affected. They continue to destabilize the biosphere and our life support systems. We are rapidly approaching potential non-linear environmental and climatic tipping points beyond our control. And in many parts of the world, we're actually accelerating this process."
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In addition to the criticism, she encourages current and future graduates in her tweet: "We, who can express ourselves, have an obligation to do this. To change everything, we need each and every one of us. I will continue to protest on Fridays," she writes, even though it is no longer a "school strike" strictly speaking. "We simply have no choice but to do everything in our power."
Last "Climate Friday" for student Greta Thunberg, but she remains engaged behind the scenes
With her unflinching appearance and her clear criticism, Greta Thunberg has polarized from the beginning. Twitter users' reactions to her tweet are divided into two camps: some thank her for her tireless commitment, while others express criticism.
"When I started striking in 2018, I never expected it to lead to anything," says climate activist and founder of the Fridays For Future movement, Greta Thunberg. Then as now, the poster reads: "Skolstrejk för klimatet" (School strike for the climate). © Jonas Ekströmer/dpa
According to the German Press Agency (dpa), the Swedish climate activist plans to work behind the scenes for climate protection in the future. "The people most affected by the climate crisis should be better heard," Brigitte Be Green magazine quotes the Swede as saying. It's "time to pass on the microphone," Thunberg told the magazine.
Heat, drought and extreme weather are becoming more frequent worldwide. Experts speak of climate change as the "greatest challenge facing humanity". It is believed that the Arctic could be ice-free in ten years. Habitats of many species are also being lost due to climate change. Meanwhile, 2024 could be the hottest year in world history. (Vivian Werg)
This article was created with the help of machines and carefully reviewed by editor Romina Kunze before publication.