Greta Thunberg: Swedish climate activist heading to Scotland for appearance at Edinburgh International Book Festival
The campaigner, who rose to fame as a 15-year-old when she began skipping school classes each week to protest outside Sweden’s parliament against political inaction on cutting carbon emissions, will appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) in August.
The event, titled It’s Not Too Late to Change the World, will take place at Edinburgh Playhouse on August 13, with writer and broadcaster Gemma Cairney chairing.
The EIBF runs from August 12 to 28, coinciding with the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), which takes place from August 4 to 27.
Now aged 20, Thunberg’s determination and blunt speaking style grabbed press attention worldwide and sparked a mass movement of youth climate strikers, united under the banner Fridays for Future. She has inspired demonstrations involving millions of youngsters across the globe.
Thunberg has been invited to address world leaders, politicians and members of the public at high-profile international events, including the 2019 United Nations climate conference World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland, and has been the recipient of numerous honours and awards.
Accolades include an honorary fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, inclusion in Time’s 100 most influential people the Forbes list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women, as well as nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
She famously delivered a speech declaring the conference a failure and accused those in power of “blah blah blah” and greenwashing. The activist has also carved out a career as a writer, with her latest work, The Climate Book, published last year.
Book Festival director Nick Barley said he was “honoured” to have the Swede on the programme.
“Nobody speaks truth to power quite like Greta Thunberg – her words and actions have given hope to countless young activists,” he said. “This is a rare opportunity to spend time in the presence of a young woman whose conviction and defiant energy is a source of inspiration to millions across the globe.”
EIF director and Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti echoed the sentiment, saying: “We are deeply grateful to Greta Thunberg for joining us as she is one of the most prominent environmental activists of our time and is uniquely positioned to address the underlying question of this year's International Festival programme – where do we go from here?
“Greta has helped to galvanise a global movement for climate action and we are proud to feature her.”
The event will begin with a speech from Thunberg, followed by an in-depth conversation about her activism and The Climate Book. The publication includes testimony from her call on the wisdom of more than 100 experts, from indigenous leaders and renowned scientists to activists and people from around the world who are most affected by climate change.
Tickets go on sale at noon on Wednesday next week, with 300 available to local community groups and young people. There is a special half-price deal for those aged under 26.
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