Researcher from AU Herning analyses the effect of Greta Thunberg's climate demonstrations

Livia Fritz and three co-authors have analysed Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future movement and its impact on the climate attitudes and behaviour of the Swiss population.

Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Livia Fritz, together with Ralph Hansmann from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology as well as Blanche Dalimier and Claudia R. Binder from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, have found that the Fridays for Future (FFF) movement and Greta Thunberg's climate activism motivated around 30% of respondents in a survey of Swiss residents to change their behaviour. The difference is significant and shows the potential of the FFF movement in terms of individual-level change and the ability to influence political initiatives.

Most of the reported changes were within three areas of the respondents' daily lives: mobility, consumption and waste. Several respondents expressed an increased tendency to seek alternatives to cars, choose holiday destinations closer to home, buy organic products and eat more vegetarian meals. Respondents also reported making efforts to recycle and reduce waste.

The research article has received significant international media attention, including major Swiss newspapers such as Le Temps and 24 heures, Swedish broadcaster TV4, Euronews and Times of India.

About Livia Fritz
Livia Fritz grew up in a small town in the western part of Austria close to the Swiss border. She studied political science with a focus on development studies at the University of Vienna and the Institut d'études politiques de Paris and received her PhD in sustainability science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

Today, she is part of Centre for Energy Technologies (CET), where she works on the projects "Geoengineering and Negative Emissions Pathways in Europe" and "Bridging current knowledge gaps to enable the UPTAKE of carbon dioxide removal", which focus on finding ways to improve the interaction between science, policy and society in relation to climate and sustainability.