How and why is Greta Thunberg a challenge for world leaders?

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Author: Hana Sarajlić

Greta Thunberg is a seventeen-year-old Swedish environmental activist, who started her activism in 2017, which has inspired the international movement to combat climate change. At the age of fifteen, instead of at school, she spent her days in front of the Swedish Parliament building, calling for stronger action by government structures on climate change, holding the “School Strike for Climate ” sign. Just a year later, she decided to pause schooling for one academic year to dedicate herself to encouraging world leaders to address the issue of climate change. She has become a leading voice, inviting millions to join climate protests around the world. By directly addressing what world leaders could do, but did not do about climate change, she has provoked reactions from many politicians and leaders, most of whom tend to be very critical. The severity of reactions to a 16-year-old activist with an autism spectrum disorder can be described by various psychological processes, including the tendency to attribute a person’s behavior to her dispositional characteristics such as age, but also the autism spectrum disorder that many have used as an argument against her propaganda.

Key words: Greta Thunberg, Activism, The environmental movement, Climate change, Climate crisis, World leaders, Populism

VPI BH RESEARCH INTERNSHIP paper, Foreign Policy Initiative BH, 2020.

Mentor: Lejla Ramić-Mesihović, PhD

English version: How and why is Greta Thunberg a challenge for world leaders?

B/H/S version: Available soon