She has become the mononymous young face of the climate crisis, inspiring millions with her words and actions, despite her tender age. Earlier this month, she was named Time magazine’s person of the year and, according to Sir David Attenborough, she has “woken up the world” to climate change, achieving what many of those who have been working on the issue for 20 years had failed to do.
But Greta Thunberg’s critics would tell a very different story: one in which the teenage activist has been brainwashed and pushed on to the global stage by her parents – a Swedish couple supposedly pulling the strings for ill-defined reasons of their own.
Earlier this week, Svante Thunberg, the 50-year-old actor and Greta’s father, addressed this theory directly. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he stated, firmly: “When she decided to do this, we said quite clearly that we would not support it.”
Questioned by presenter Mishal Husain as to why, he explained: “Obviously, we thought it was a bad idea – putting yourself out there with all the hate on social media, and just the idea of your own daughter putting herself at the very front line of such a huge question like climate change.”