This series follows climate activist Greta Thunberg as she takes a year off school to explore the science of global warming and challenge world leaders, calling for action on climate change. In 2019 Greta set off on a year off school to embark upon a mission that would take her across the globe to demand world leaders meet their promises to try and limit global warming. With unique access, this series follows Greta over an extraordinary year in which she comes of age as she takes her fight against climate change to a global stage. But when Covid-19 brings life to a standstill Greta is faced with an even bigger challenge – to convince a world reeling from one crisis finally to face another.
As she travels across the globe, Greta explores the science – from the melting glaciers of Canada to the coal mines of Europe. She witnesses first-hand the consequences of climate change and makes clear the reasons why she thinks something must be done right now. On her journey she meets climate scientists and confronts the complexity of what is required to make change happen. Encounters with some of the world’s leading scientists and economists allow the series to examine what the latest science tells us about what can be done to avert the worst effects of climate change.
In the first programme Greta travels through North America on her way to a UN climate conference in Chile. To understand the impact of climate change she stops at three key locations that reveal how the planet is changing. In the Canadian Rockies she learns how a small change in temperature has allowed an insect infestation to kill nearly half the trees in one of its most famous national parks. She visits a glacier that’s melting faster than models predict and discovers the cause is partly due to soot from forest fires falling on it. In California she sees first-hand the destruction these fires create when she visits Paradise, a town at the centre of a deadly fire in 2018. When the UN climate conference is suddenly moved to Madrid, Greta finds herself on the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean and decides to sail back, braving life-threatening storms, to make her speech calling for immediate action on climate change.
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World – Episode One airs on BBC One at 9pm on Monday 12 April 2021