i-D / Harley Weir

16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is on the cover of i-D‘s Summer 2019 “The Voice of a Generation” issue.

Thunberg first started her school strike to demand climate change action back in August 2018. Her initially solo protest eventually inspired other kids to the point that on March 22, 1.4 million students around the world coordinated in a global school strike. i-D has now started a petition to make the third Friday in March National Climate Day.

In the interview with i-D, Thunberg reveals that she became depressed at just 11, mostly because of climate change, saying “The teachers told us about the effects of greenhouse gases and the melting ice caps… I couldn’t understand how people could, on the one hand, say that they cared about climate change and that it was very important, and then not do anything about it.”

She became so ill that she couldn’t go to school, which meant her parents had to look after her at home. This led to her educating them on the looming environmental emergency. She said at first they tried to tell her everything would be fine, but then she “just kept on going, showing them articles, reports, graphs… they understood the emergency. They were shocked by how serious the situation was.”

However, Thunberg wants to make it clear that the onus is on governments and corporations to make real, meaningful changes for the better. She explains, “We need to continue to put pressure on people in power and say that we will not stop until they do something. Because, yes, we have accomplished a lot. We have gathered many people. But emissions are still increasing so we have not succeeded. We need to continue until we do.”

She continues, “Many people say that this movement has become so big and ask me if I’m proud, but we haven’t seen anything yet. The climate crisis is only going to become worse, to become bigger and bigger and more urgent with time. This is not a one-time thing, this is our entire future.”

To read the rest of the cover story, head over to i-D.

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Another Australian in Berlin.

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