Activist Greta Thunberg, 16, doesn't see herself as an icon: 'I haven't really done anything'

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

Greta Thunberg has become a household name thanks to her outspoken views about climate change.

The 16-year-old Swedish school girl rose to almost overnight fame in April after delivering a speech to MPs at the the Houses of Parliament where she said her future had been “stolen”.

Last month, she featured on the cover of Time magazine.

READ MORE: Swedish teen accuses UK of 'irresponsible behaviour' over climate

But despite her high profile, Thunberg claims, in an interview with Wired magazine, not to consider herself as “icon”.

Greta Thunberg told Wired UK she doesn't see herself as an "icon". [Photo: Getty]

Instead, Thunberg – who this March received Nobel Peace Prize nominations from three members of the Norwegian parliament – would prefer the focus to remain on climate change activism, rather than her as an individual.

“I do not see myself as a celebrity or an icon or things like that…I have not really done anything,” she told the UK-based publication, appearing on the cover of the July/August issue.

“I have just decided that I will do this even if there is no hope. Not having hope is not an excuse for not doing something. Everyone says different things. Some say we are already screwed and some say we still have time.

“I just hope that this movement will continue and we do something about the climate – because that is the only thing that matters.”

Greta Thunberg addresses politicians, media and guests with the Houses of Parliament on April 23, 2019 in London, England. [Photo: Getty]

Thunberg’s career as an activist

Although she has said she’d rather be known for her cause, Thunberg has raised an impressive global profile as an individual.

Thunberg began skipping school in favour of protesting outside the country’s parliament last year, when she was just 15.

Prior to her speech to MPs at the Houses of Parliament last April – where she said, “I speak on behalf of future generations” – Thunberg appeared at the UN Climate Change COP24 Conference in Poland in December 2018.

She published her first book, ‘No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference’, which is a collection of her speeches.

In the same period, an artist painted a 50 foot mural of Thunberg’s face – depicted as if it were under rising sea water – on a wall in Bristol.

Thunberg isn’t the first teenage activist to change the world. She follows in the footsteps of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education who became the youngest Novel Prize laureate.