Greta Thunberg’s parents – who are the climate activist’s family and what have they said?

The Sun 2 months ago

CLIMATE change activist Greta Thunberg is now a familiar face known around the world.

But while the teenager has hit the headlines who are her parents and what are their beliefs?

Greta Thunberg addresses a climate change rally in Montreal, Canada in September this year

Who are Greta Thunberg’s parents?

While Greta Thunberg has become a global figure, even appearing on the cover of Time magazine in 2018, and seen as spearheading the campaign on climate change, her parents have not embraced the limelight.

Greta was born on January 3, 2003 in Stockholm and is the daughter of actor Svante Thunberg and opera singer Malena Ernman.

Her family’s life is recounted in the book Scenes from the Heart, published in August 2018, which was largely written by her mother.

It details her life with her husband Svante and her two daughters Greta and Beata.

Both parents are committed to the environmental cause and the book also talks about the environmental crisis and sustainability.

Malena is an opera singer who also represented Sweden at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

She was born on November 4, 1970.

Malena Ernman entered the Eurovision song contest in 2009 for Sweden

In the book she describes Greta’s Asperger’s syndrome – and Beata’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – as not being a “handicap” but a “superpower”.

She studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockhom and the Music

She has taken on a number of operatic roles over her career often to critical acclaim.

Ernman made her debut at the Salzburg festival in 2006 as Annio in La ciemenza di Tito which was conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

When she represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest she sang La Voix, written by Fredrik Kempe.

She finished 21st picking up 33 points.

Svante has a far less public profile but has been noted for his role in the TV series Skargardsdoktorn which ran from 1997 to 2000.

He is also an author and producer as well as his wife’s manager.

What have Greta parents said?

Malena has also been politically active and has supported the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In 2016 she received the Martin Luther King Prize which is awarded to people working for peace, non-violence, freedom, justice, equality and solidarity.

She was named by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as Sweden’s Environmental Hero of the Year in 2017, an award she shared with biologist Rebecka le Moine.

In responding to the recognition, Malena said: “It is a tremendous honour to be named the Environmental Hero of the Year.

Greta and her father Svante Thunberg, centre, meeting with Boris Herrmann from sailing team Malizia

“My small role in the environmental movement is as a public person trying to lend my voice to those who are not heard in the media noise. No other issue is more important or more difficult to spread.”

Greta’s parents, along with Beata have written a book Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, which is due to be published in March 2020.

The summary on GoodReads says in part: “This is the story of a family led to confront a crisis they had never foreseen. Aged eleven, their eldest daughter has stopped eating and speaking.

“Alongside diagnoses of autism and selective mutism, her parents slowly become aware of another source for her distress: her imperiled future on a rapidly heating planet.

“Steered by her determination to understand the truth, the family begins to see the deep connections between their own and the planet’s suffering.

“Against forces that try to silence them, disparaging them for being different, they discover ways to strengthen, heal, and act in the world. And then one day, fifteen-year-old Greta decides to go on strike.”


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