Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg headed back to school on Monday, writing in an Instagram post: “My gap year is over”.
It was some gap year. Since 2018, the 17-year-old has gone from unknown high-school student to worldwide phenomenon, meeting world leaders, speaking at international events, and becoming, in 2019, Time magazine’s youngest Person of the Year.
She joined the long list of people who have got into a spat with President Donald Trump – who told her to “chill” – but then had Michelle Obama leap to her defence.
Thunberg shot to fame back in 2018 when she started boycotting school to encourage the Swedish government to take more action to combat climate change.
Her stance led to a worldwide movement, Fridays for Future, which saw strikes by students across the globe she addressed the United Nations conference on climate change in 2018.
Due to attend the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York, Thunberg sailed to the United States to avoid flying, a practice she has condemned due to the high carbon emissions involved.
She has since appeared at rallies and events across the world, and as recently as last week met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who she urged to do more to combat climate change.