Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg directs media attention elsewhere

by Editorial Team

Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg doesn’t want to hog the spotlight.

The 16-year-old Swede who sails the world on solar-powered boats, travels over land in electric cars and publicly chastises world leaders now has a message for the media that have been following her every move. She wants them to stop focusing on her and turn their attention toward other activists, particularly indigenous peoples, many of whom are living the climate crisis right now.

“We are privileged, and our stories have been told many times, over and over again,” Thunberg said Monday at a U.N. summit in Madrid, according to Reuters, referring to herself and 23-year-old German activist Luisa Neubauer, who has also been in the spotlight. “And it is not our stories that need to be told and listened to. It is the others. It is the people especially from the global south and from indigenous communities who need to tell their stories.”

Thunberg spoke briefly at COP25, the UN Climate Summit, being held from Dec. 3 through 13 in Spain’s capital, then passed the microphone to fellow activists, according to the Associated Press.

They included Kisha Erah Muaña, 23, of the Philippines, who called for “robust and lasting action” against climate change, and Nakabuye Hilda Flavia of Uganda, according to Agence France-Presse.

“It’s really about them,” Thunberg said of young activists from developing countries who are already grappling with climate-change effects such as violent storms, droughts and rising sea levels. “We talk about our future. They talk about their present.”

In addition, she said, the world’s indigenous peoples and activists possess key knowledge drawn from their unique connection to their surroundings.

“Their stories must be heard”, she said. “Because the climate emergency is not just something that will impact us in the future. It is already affecting countless people today. People are suffering and dying from it today.”


Related Posts

Leave a Comment