Environmental activists like Greta Thunberg are playing a huge part in raising awareness about the growing risks to the environment and the urgency of slowing down climate change.
The Swedish environmental activist was just 16 when she began her ‘school strike’ protest against climate change in 2018.
Searches for information about her online peaked towards the end of September 2019 when she accused leaders at an UN summit of having “stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words”, and was mocked on Twitter by US President Donald Trump.
In the last 6 months she has spoken at numerous rallies about the climate youth movement and has gained considerable media coverage and recognition. Findings from our Great Green Sustainability Study show that 45% of consumers claim their views on the environment and environmental issues are being influenced to some degree by Thunberg. This is especially true of those aged 18-34 years (59%).
However, of all the influences we measured in our study, Thunberg was the least influential, even amongst the youngest age cohort, with TV, personal experiences, and David Attenborough all playing much more of a role in our views of climate change and the environment.
To an extent this could be a result of being the “new kid on the block”, and of Thunberg not having had the time that the other influences have had to make their mark. It will be interesting to see how her level of influence changes over time, as her fight to get governments across the world to take action ramps up.