Hundreds gather at NC rally with climate activist Greta Thunberg

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate and environmental activist, joined a youth-led climate strike in Charlotte Friday.

Hundreds of people joined as the strike got underway at noon outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

The Charlotte Observer reports Thunberg spoke before an estimated 1,200 people.

The Swedish teenager has been traveling across the U.S. since delivering a passionate speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September demanding that world leaders do more to combat global warming.

In Charlotte, Thunberg was joined by ninth-grader Mary Ellis Stevens, who has held her own weekly calls to action outside a government building.

Thunberg urged the crowd to “unite behind science” and demand leaders to take responsibility.

Thunberg, who has nearly 3 million followers on Twitter, has gotten attention for mobilizing a global youth movement against climate change.

Stevens spends Fridays skipping class at Myers Park High School, where she is a freshman, to raise awareness at the Charlotte Government Center. She sits with signs and educates others. For weeks she sat alone, and now other youth activists join her.

She was inspired by the famous climate strikes by Greta Thunberg.

“It all comes down to atmospheric carbon dioxide and the emissions from fossil fuels and they’re causing disastrous effects,” Stevens said.

On Wednesday, Greta messaged her on Twitter.

“She asked ‘Are you planning on striking this Friday?’ ‘I said Yeah definitely- if you’re in the area I’d love for you to join me.’ ‘And she was like yeah that’d be great let’s do it!” she said.

She skipped school on Thursday, with the permission of her assistant principal to spend the day securing permits, a stage, and audio equipment. Other activists and her parents helped her.

“She has given up a lot for her work on climate justice,” her mother Natalie Stevens said.

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