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Greta’s dad thought activism was ‘bad idea’

Greta’s father Svante Thunberg said he was 'not supportive' of his daughter skipping school for the climate strike

By PTI in London
  • Published 31.12.19, 7:42 AM
  • Updated 31.12.19, 7:42 AM
  • a min read
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Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg (AP)

Greta Thunberg may have become the new global climate icon, but the 16-year-old Swedish teenager struggled with depression for three to four years and received no support from her father for skipping school for activism, a bold decision that has inspired millions to join her in raising awareness on environmental issues.

In an interview to the BBC, Greta’s father Svante Thunberg said he thought it was “a bad idea” for his daughter to take to the “front line” of the battle against climate change.

Thunberg said he was “not supportive” of his daughter skipping school for the climate strike.

As part of the same broadcast, guest-edited by Greta for Radio 4’s Today programme, naturalist David Attenborough told her she had “woken up the world” to climate change and “achieved things that many of us who have been working on the issue for 20 years have failed to do”.

Greta was nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, after spearheading a global movement demanding world leaders take action over climate change. It led to co-ordinated school strikes across the globe. Thunberg said his daughter had struggled with depression for “three or four years” before she began her school strike.

To help her get better, Thunberg spent more time with Greta and her younger sister, Beata, at their home in Sweden. Greta’s mother, opera singer, cancelled contracts so the whole family could be together.

Over the next few years they began discussing and researching climate change, with Greta becoming increasingly passionate about tackling the issue. “I did all these things, I knew they were the right thing to do... but I didn't do it to save the climate, I did it to save my child,” Thunberg told presenter Mishal Husain in Sweden. PTI