A documentary about Greta Thunberg premiered on Hulu in 2020 called I Am Greta. His father, Svante Thunberg, appears in the film. He and his daughter are very close.
Here’s what you need to know about Svante Thunberg.
1. In 2019, he said his daughter was happy, but he was worried about her
When Greta Thunberg missed school for a climate strike, her father Svante Thunberg said he didn’t support that decision. He said that while she has been happier since she became a climate change activist, he was concerned that she was on the frontline battle, as reported by the BBC.
As he grew more passionate about climate change, he accused his parents of being hypocrites, he said. So they became more cautious about the environment, which helped Greta become even more passionate about her cause. But, as Svante told the BBC: “I did all these things, I knew it was the right thing to do… but I didn’t do it to save the climate, I did it to save my daughter.”
He said that Greta’s involvement in climate activism made her much happier, but that he was worried about the hate that could be aroused by the ‘fake news’.
She said that she personally handles it very well and just laughs at everything.
2. Greta Thunberg’s mom and dad put everything aside when she fought so hard she even stopped eating
Svante said that for a time, Greta had struggled with depression for several years, stopped going to school and stopped talking, the BBC reported. He said she started refusing to eat and that it was “a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Svante started spending more time with her and her sister Beata to try and help her. Her mother, Malena Ernman, canceled singing events so she, too, could return home. She had been diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 12, the BBC reported. But depression was a new topic.
On one occasion, he got so bad that he had a panic attack and screamed for 40 minutes, Ernman wrote in The Guardian.
3. He and his daughter sailed for two weeks from England to New York
Greta does not fly by plane due to the impact on the weather, The Local reported. So when he attended a UN climate change conference in New York in late 2019, he sailed there on the Malizia II. Pierre Casiraghi, son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, offered him a ride on her ship. She then sailed back on the catamaran La Vagabonde. Svante Thunberg sailed with his daughter on the long voyage, as reported by the BBC.
4. Svante Thunberg is an actor and producer
Svante Thunberg is an actor and producer, The Local reported. His wife and Greta’s mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera singer. According to his IMDb, was in the Swedish TV series Skärgårdsdoktorn. The series ran from 1997 to 2000.
5. He gave up his career so his wife could continue her career in opera
Before Greta Thunberg’s mom and dad put it all aside for their daughter when she was struggling with depression, Svante Thunberg had already put aside most of his career to help his pregnant wife.
In a column for The Guardian, Ernman shared that Thunberg was performing in three theaters and had years of concerts at the opera when she was pregnant with Greta. But Thunberg told her: “You are one of the best in the world at what you do. As for me, I am more like a bass player in the Swedish theater and I can be replaced very easily. Not to mention that you make a hell of a lot more money than I do.”
Thunberg began to refer to himself as a “housewife” and fully supported Ernman’s career. For 12 years, this is how the family operated. She traveled on her events and he raised her two daughters. (Beata was born three years after Greta). When Greta became depressed, the couple called it quits to focus on his daughters.
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Svante Thunberg: who is Greta Thunberg’s father?