Climate change solutions

Obama meets with Greta Thunberg, "one of our planet's greatest advocates"

Former President Obama praised climate activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday after meeting with the 16-year-old during her visit to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers on environmental issues.

Why it matters: Thunberg rose to prominence through weekly climate protests and addresses to the UN Climate Change Summit in Poland and the World Economic Forum in Davos.

  • She started the Fridays for Future school climate strikes in August last year when she staged a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament. It's grown into a global movement.
  • Thunberg will lead a global climate strike this Friday ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit 3 days later, which she'll address.

The big picture: Thunberg also met with Green New Deal co-sponsor Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) at Congress. Markey tweeted that he was "proud" to join the join young climate activists.

What he's saying: Markey tweeted, "By failing to take meaningful action on climate, our leaders failed the young people of the world. A generation of leaders owes our youngest generations an apology & a commitment to finally take the bold action we’ve failed to achieve."

NYC says 1.1M students can skip school for climate strike protest

Students march outside the United Nations during a protest against climate change on September 6, 2019 in New York.
Students outside the United Nations during a climate change protest in New York, Sept. 6. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

School districts are debating what position to take after New York City announced that 1.1 million public school students could skip classes without penalties to join the global youth climate strikes Friday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the Times, this a test of the movement’s impact — by causing disruptions and getting noticed by political leaders who are in NYC for the United Nations Climate Action Summit 3 days later and the General Assembly meeting that follows it.