Climate activist Greta Thunberg is making the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, testifying before Congress, protesting outside the Supreme Court and addressing world leaders — all before some her age even get a driver's license.

The 16-year-old Swedish activist is appearing before a House hearing on Wednesday to discuss climate change and global warming, and submitted a prominent scientific report in place of her prepared remarks for lawmakers.


The teenager has drawn international attention with her calls to take action on climate change, including by sailing from Europe to New York to reduce carbon emissions ahead of this month's United Nations Climate Action Summit.

Here are five things to know about Thunberg.

She started ‘Fridays For Future’ class walkouts at age 15

In August 2018 at the age of 15, Thunberg walked out of her classes every day for three weeks to demonstrate outside the Swedish Parliament to protest against its inaction on climate change.

She reportedly would hand out leaflets outside Parliament with the message, “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”

She continued striking every Friday, posting about her strikes on social media using the hashtag “FridaysForFuture,” sparking a viral internet sensation and encouraging similar protests to pop up around the world.

In February, an estimated 10,000 students skipped school for a climate protest in the United Kingdom. And in January, about 12,000 students in Belgium skipped school on multiple occasions to take part in a climate protest. 

She’s a Nobel Peace Prize nominee

The Swedish teen was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year. 

“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” said Freddy André Øvstegård, a Socialist member of the Norwegian Parliament, according to The Guardian. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”

Thunberg was also honored as the first recipient of the Freedom Prize awarded by France’s Normandy region, but donated the 25,000 euros of prize money to four climate organizations.

She was also listed on Time magazine’s 2019 “100 list” of the world’s most influential people and as part of the “Next Generation Leaders.”

She’s featured on a rock group’s album and is writing a book

Thunberg often uses her newfound influence to donate to charity through a variety of platforms.

She teamed up with British rock band The 1975 in July to produce a song calling attention to the climate “emergency.”

The four-minute single included much of the rhetoric from her 2018 speech to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over piano music. The teenager ends with a call for grass-roots actions through rebellion.

“Today we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground,” she says. “So we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed."

“So everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel," she concluded as the music cuts out. 

Thunberg said money raised from the track will go to Extinction Rebellion, a nonprofit group.

In addition to the song, Thunberg is also a published author.

Penguin Random House in June released a compilation of her speeches as a book entitled “No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference,” with all of her proceeds going to charity. 

The publisher is set to release a book in May 2020 entitled “Our House Is On Fire,” written by Thunberg, her parents and her sister.

The book details the family’s rise “with unshakable moral clarity, to the tremendous responsibility of being alive at the moment when our immediate collective decisions will determine the fate of life on Earth.” 

Thunberg's mother, Malena Ernman, is also a former Swedish opera singer who has competed at the international song competition Eurovision.

She has the ear of several world leaders

Thunberg’s activism has caught the attention of leaders and politicians around the world.

She spoke at the United Nations COP24 Climate Summit in Poland last year and chastised the group for “ignoring” the climate change emergency.

“You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes,” Thunberg told the leaders in attendance.

“For 25 years, countless people have come to the U.N. climate conferences begging our world leaders to stop emissions, and clearly that has not worked as emissions are continuing to rise. So I will not beg the world leaders to care for our future,” Thunberg said at the December 2018 summit. “I will instead let them know change is coming whether they like it or not.”

She included an additional knock: "You are not mature enough to tell it like is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don't care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet."

Pope FrancisPope FrancisThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden search for undecided voters in final stretch Pope Francis names first Black US cardinal, Wilton Gregory The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Iran, Russia election bombshell; final Prez debate tonight MORE thanked the teenage climate activist for her efforts when she made an appearance in Vatican City earlier this year.

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGorsuch rejects Minnesota Republican's request to delay House race Biden leads Trump by 6 points in Nevada: poll The Memo: Women could cost Trump reelection MORE and daughter Chelsea Clinton also included Thunberg in their upcoming book of major female figures called “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.”

Most recently, Thunberg met with former President Obama on Tuesday as part of her visit to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers on environmental issues.

“Just 16, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action. She embodies our vision at the @ObamaFoundation: A future shaped by young leaders like her,” Obama tweeted, including a photo of the meeting.

She has been open about Asperger’s, mental health

The 16-year-old has been open about being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome as well as ADHD, selective mutism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Her critics, including an Australian newspaper columnist, often point to her diagnosis as a way to diminish her activism, while Thunberg has delivered a message pushing back against her “haters.”

“When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!” she tweeted last month. “I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And - given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower.”

She has spoken about how her diagnosis has given her insight on her climate activism.

“Our societies need to change, and we need people who think outside the box and we need to start taking care of each other. And embrace our differences,” she wrote on World Autism Awareness Day in April.