Greta Thunberg's Parents: The Supportive Backbone Behind the Climate Activist


Jul. 12 2023, Published 3:35 p.m. ET

Greta Thunberg at a protest.
Source: Getty Images

When climate activist Greta Thunberg wanted to stage her first climate strike at age 15, her parents didn’t support the idea. Even though the family had been discussing climate change together for years, Greta Thunberg’s parents were concerned about the backlash she would receive from others.

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“We thought of was a bad idea putting yourself out there with all the heat on social media,” her father, Svante Thunberg, told BBC Radio 4 in 2019.

Who are the members of the Nobel Peace prize nominee's family? Keep reading for everything you need to know about her support system.

Greta Thunberg holding her School Strike for Climate.
Source: Getty Images
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Greta Thunberg’s parents changed their tune on her activism.

After Thunberg started her School Strike for Climate (Skolstrejk för klimatet) in 2018, her parents eventually realized it was one of the best things for her. Thunberg, diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, went through a heavy depression in the years before her activism. She stopped eating, talking, and laughing, the family wrote in their 2020 book, Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis.

Thunberg’s mission to save the planet helped pull her out of depression, step out of her comfort zone, and do things she’d never done before, reports Together Band.

“You think it’s not ordinary now because she’s special and she’s very famous… but to me, she’s now an ordinary child,” her father told the BBC. “She can do all the things other people can, and she’s happy. She dances around, she laughs a lot, we have a lot of fun and she’s in a very good place.”

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Greta Thunberg's mother, Malene Ernman.
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Who is Greta Thunberg's mom, Malena Ernman?

Thunberg’s mother, Malena Ernman, is a Swedish opera singer and Royal Swedish Academy of Music member. In 2019, she represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest and finished in 21st place.

Ernman met Greta’s father, Svante Thunberg when the two appeared together in a 2000 Swedish television music documentary. The couple has two daughters, Greta and her younger sister Beata.

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As a professional opera singer, Ernman often traveled by airplane. According to BBC News, Emman stopped her air travel after Greta opened her eyes to the environmental impacts of aviation. She also became a vegetarian.

Per the U.S. Sun, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) named Ernman as Sweden’s Environmental Hero of the Year in 2017.

Greta Thunberg with her father, Svante Thunberg.
Source: Getty Images
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Who is Greta Thunberg's dad, Svante Thunberg?

Greta’s father, Svante Thunberg, is a Swedish actor, stay-at-home dad, and manager for his wife’s singing career. Since Greta’s rise in climate activism, Svante has adopted a vegan lifestyle and given up flying.

Svante often accompanies Greta as her chaperone on her climate campaign. In the past, he traveled with her on sailing trips to New York and Madrid for United Nations climate summits, according to BBC News.

What is Greta Thunberg’s parents’ net worth?

Celebrity Net Worth puts Greta Thunberg’s net worth at $100,000. However, there isn’t much information on the net worth of her parents.

Thunberg’s parents have coauthored two books. Their 2018 memoir Scenes from the Heart tells their family story before Greta’s activism began. The updated version of that book is Our House is on Fire from 2020.

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