After what began as a solo protest in Sweden five years ago and grew into a movement with millions of children across the world participating, Greta Thunberg has taken part in her last “school strike” protest as she graduates from school.
The protests, which led to many climate activist movements across Europe, the US and Australia, are known as Fridays for Future or School Strike for Climate.
Thunberg tweeted: “Today, I graduate from school, which means I’ll no longer be able to school strike for the climate. This is then the last school strike for me, so I guess I have to write something on this day.
School strike week 251. Today, I graduate from school, which means I’ll no longer be able to school strike for the climate. This is then the last school strike for me, so I guess I have to write something on this day.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) June 9, 2023
“When I started striking in 2018 I could never have expected that it would lead to anything. After striking every day for three weeks, we were a small group of children who decided to continue doing this every Friday. And we did, which is how Fridays for Future was formed.
“Some more people joined, and quite suddenly this was a global movement growing every day. During 2019, millions of youth striked from school for the climate, flooding the streets in over 180 countries. When the pandemic started, we had to find new ways to protest.
She added: “We who can speak up have a duty to do so. In order to change everything, we need everyone. I’ll continue to protest on Fridays, even though it’s not technically ‘school striking’. We simply have no other option than to do everything we possibly can. The fight has only just begun.”
Thunberg has become a household name known for her climate activism, and has addressed world leaders about the climate emergency at the United Nations’ climate action summit.
In 2019, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Thunberg said the growth of the school strike movement was “an amazing feeling”.
“To feel that you’re a part of something bigger, and that you can be a part of a movement that has so much impact on the world,” Thunberg said. “It’s an amazing feeling and I wish more people could feel like that.”
When asked whether the movement could bring about a zero-carbon policy change, Thunberg said: “Of course not. It’s not going to take a million children skipping school. There isn’t one solution which is going to solve everything. We are trying to change the conversation and I think we have accomplished a lot.”