When Greta came to Town


Greta Thunberg, world-famous climate activist, recently spent a day in Oxford with Malala Yousafzai.

Yousafzai, currently a finalist reading PPE at Lady Margaret Hall, posted a photo on twitter of the pair with the caption,“She’s the only friend I’d skip school for.”

The Oxford Student can reveal Thunberg made the trip to Oxford to visit Yousafzai before joining a school strike against climate change in Bristol three days later.

Thunberg met around ten students from the University and spoke about a number of issues, including science, voting, the limits of protest, divestment, real zero v net zero, and more.

When asked what she would be doing if she were not a climate activist, Thunberg told students she would have liked to continue her education. Nathan Lawson, a first-year Geography student at Jesus College, told The Oxford Student, “when someone you idolise wants something that you already have, like an education, you’re a lot more grateful for it”.

Thunberg rose to global fame after her 2018 strike from school in Sweden to protest the climate emergency, inspiring a generation of young activists around the world to do the same. More recently, a global climate strike in November 2019 saw an estimated two million participants in 2,400 cities across 157 countries striking against government inaction on the climate crisis.

Kaya Axelsson told The Oxford Student: “It was very moving to meet someone so clear and committed in their thinking and their actions… She’s inspired so many people and she truly lives up to her reputation”.

Lawson continued, “the experience was very humbling as she doesnt have all the answers, such as whether or not the Paris Agreement 2025 targets are achievable, particularly without a radical shift in the current global economic system of capitalism. She’s just a 17-year old girl – an amazing 17 year old girl, but a 17 year old girl nonetheless… she doesn’t have all the answers and it is for everyone to help and come to a conclusion about”.

Image credit: Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, Malala Yousafzai via twitter

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