How 16-year-old Greta Thunberg became the face of climate-change activism

The Global Climate Strike, which could be the largest climate change demonstration in history, is expected to put thousands of people on the streets around the world on Friday to protest inaction against climate change.

At the helm is 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.

Over the last year, the teenager has entered the global spotlight as the leader of a youth movement that's pushing governments and corporations to address the climate crisis.

Thunberg launched the "Fridays For Future" movement — or School Strike for Climate (as it says in Swedish on her sign) — in 2018, encouraging students to skip school to demand action on climate change from their governments. In November, when she was a ninth grader, Thunberg staged a strike for two weeks outside the Swedish parliament, demanding that the government cut emissions by 15% a year.

Now Thunberg spends every Friday on strike.

In December, Thunberg made headlines by accusing a group of assembled leaders from nearly 200 countries of "behaving like children."

Thunberg will make her voice heard again on Saturday at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit in New York City, then speak at the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday. To get to these events, she chose to sail across the Atlantic on a zero-emissions boat, rather than rely on emissions-heavy aviation.

Read More: Here's what 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg's zero-emissions journey from Europe to New York looked like.

Here's how Thunberg rose to prominence as the face of a new movement in a single year.

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