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Image / Editorial

WATCH: ‘We’re a team’: Greta Thunberg meets Barack Obama


by Jennifer McShane
19th Sep 2019
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Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is rarely out of the news as she seeks to highlight the very real dangers the world will face if we don’t act when it comes to climate change. Now, she has Barack Obama on her side 


Yep, Obama is a fan. And how could he not be? Thunberg met Obama in Washington to discuss climate change before the UN’s summit next week. In a video released by the Obama Foundation, he says to the activist: “You and me, we’re a team,” before fist-bumping.

She has been in Washington since last week to join US and indigenous activists to build up support for a global climate strike on Friday.

Obama discussed recent climate strikes with Thunberg. “Everyone is so nice and all of these young people seem so eager, very enthusiastic which is a very good thing,” she says in the video.

Related: ‘Overwhelming’: Greta Thunberg arrives in New York after 15 days at sea

“My message to young people who want to have an impact is to be creative. There’s so incredibly much you can do and to not underestimate yourself.”

Obama has been vocal in his praise of the 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and her efforts so far, writing on Instagram:

“At just 16 years old, Greta Thunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Her age might have something to do with it. With full knowledge that her generation will bear the heaviest burden of climate change, she’s unafraid to believe that progress is possible — and fight for real change.”

The Swedish teen made the ‘zero carbon’ voyage to the States in just over two weeks by boat to show that air travel isn’t necessary; that it is possible to cut down on carbon emissions from aeroplanes.

Related: WATCH: Greta Thunberg slams EU leaders for inaction on climate change

She also made the journey to attend two UN climate change meetings. Both summits – due to take place on 23 September in New York and 2-13 December in Santiago – will discuss how we tackle climate change across the world.

This week, she also delivered a pointed message before a Congressional hearing on Wednesday: “I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists.”

“People, in general, don’t seem to be aware of how severe the crisis” is, she said, urging lawmakers to “unite behind the science” and take action, pleading that people treat climate change “like the existential crisis it is.”

Main photograph: @BarackObama


More like this:

Related: Everything you need to know about the Global Climate Strike this Friday

RelatedGreta Thunberg tells MPs that her generation’s future has been ‘stolen’

RelatedWhy Greta Thunberg is my idol – for more reasons than climate activism

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