Grown up Greta may attract a new wave of support

Watching Greta Thunberg’s interview with broadcaster Andrew Marr yesterday as COP26 kicked off in Glasgow, I couldn't help but think how much she has changed.
Pic Lisa Ferguson 15/09/2015

Byline pic
Jane BradleyPic Lisa Ferguson 15/09/2015

Byline pic
Jane Bradley
Pic Lisa Ferguson 15/09/2015 Byline pic Jane Bradley

The angry teenage climate change activist has been replaced by a calm, collected persona, with a level of expertise and knowledge rarely heard on the subject.

Indeed, Marr’s level of questioning – often the downfall of many an experienced politician – did not phase her.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Instead of tearfully screaming “how dare you” at the world, telling adults that they had “stolen my dreams and my childhood”, as she did in Australia at the United Nations Climate Action Summit just two years ago – undoubtedly grabbing the attention of people across the globe - grown-up Greta calmly stated in Glasgow that it is never too late to take action, that if the target of just 1.5 degree global warming is not hit, we could aim instead for 1.7 or 1.6 instead.

However, whether this new Greta will go down well with the more vocal climate change activists – groups such as Insulate Britain, who have blocked traffic on the M25 in recent weeks – remains to be seen. She insisted that she still supports more extreme activism “as long as no-one gets hurt”, but her angry fight seemed to be gone.

Marr asked her if she would consider running as a politician in Sweden – now that she has turned 18 and such a thing is legal. While she laughed and dismissed the idea, saying that she can do more “on the streets” than “inside”, it was clear that it was not the first time the thought had crossed her mind.

Thunberg may still look like a teenager in her checked shirt and ponytail, but her more moderate approach is very much that of an adult.

She came across as genuine, thoughtful and measured in her answers, acknowledging that while leaders such as US president Joe Biden need to take responsibility, the onus cannot be placed on one person to change the world.

Perhaps through that statement, she is telling us she has now realised that, along with Biden, she neither, can be that one person.

And in doing so, she may bring a whole new tranche of supporters with her – gaining the “massive public pressure” she says world leaders need.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.