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 Greta beside the Bełchatów coal power station in Poland
Photographer Jon Sayers 

Full photo caption: Greta Thunberg beside the Bełchatów coal power station in Poland. The largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union. 
Photo credit: Jon Sayers copyright of BBC Studios.


Premieres Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 on PBS

ARLINGTON, VA; February 15, 2021– PBS, in partnership with BBC Studios’ Science Unit, announces a new three-part documentary series following teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg as she seeks to raise awareness of the accelerating climate change. GRETA THUNBERG: A YEAR TO CHANGE THE WORLD premieres in its entirety as a special presentation on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 at 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listingson PBS stations nationwide. Encore airings of all three episodes air Wednesdays, April 28 – May 12, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings).

Greta Thunberg is on a mission to save the world. She is asking every one of us to act and to mobilize in order to slow down the growing climate change that is destroying our planet and threatens our way of life. The message is clear, and scientists agree—we need to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees in order to give our species the best possible chance of avoiding a catastrophic future. 

This revealing series follows Greta as she steps from behind the podium and onto the front lines. Over the course of the three episodes, Greta explores the science as she travels to extraordinary locations across the globe, meeting leading climate scientists, witnessing first hand the consequences of climate change and confronting the complexity of what is required to make change happen. She travels from the burning tar sands of the Canadian oil industry to the coal mines of Europe and the melting glaciers of the U.S.—places where the impact of a changing climate is glaringly obvious, both for the planet and for the inevitable human costs—making clear the reasons why scientists call for action to be taken. The series also hears from a range of academics, economists and experts, further exploring the climate change science Greta encounters on the ground.

In the fall of 2019, then-16-year-old Greta took a year off from school to embark on an international mission to spread her message: that we must act to drastically reduce our carbon emissions—immediately. The world was transfixed as this teenager spoke with directness and clarity to power, from diplomats at the United Nations to the world’s economic elite at Davos. However, just as her journey was gaining serious momentum, a new threat emerged, and everything became uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a terrifying standstill when the global economy, modern society and Greta’s journey all came to a halt. However, as days turned to months and people around the world were confined to their homes, an unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the ongoing global shutdown, revealing how much we can lessen our impact on the planet if we radically change our behavior.

Through Greta’s exploration of the science, we get a deeper understanding of the problems of climate change and the complexity of resolving them,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming and Development, PBS. “This is also a very personal, intimate and moving story about an incredibly brave person who has found herself in the global spotlight and navigates the challenges of unsought fame. PBS is proud to bring this powerful story to our viewers of all ages.” 

GRETA THUNBERG: A YEAR TO CHANGE THE WORLD is a BBC Studios Science Unit production in association with B-Reel Films and co-produced with the BBC for PBS. Rob Liddell and Helen Thomas are executive producers. Executive in charge for PBS is Bill Gardner.   


About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV— including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About the Science Unit, BBC Studios Production
The BBC Studios Science Unit produces a plethora of bold and trail-blazing content with an unmatched network of experts and access to some of the world’s most advanced scientific institutions. From blue-chip landmark series to drama-documentary and popular consumer health programming, we use quality journalism, innovation, and pioneering technology to make complex scientific ideas accessible to truth-seeking audiences across the globe. Known for high production values and visual flair, the Science Unit supplies content to a range of broadcasters and platforms across the UK, US and Europe, including the BBC, C4, C5, ZDF, PBS, Discovery Science, Netflix and YouTube. Recent output includes YouTube’s The Edge of Science, the multi award-winning science strand Horizon, landmark series The Planets, the critically acclaimed 8 Days: To the Moon and Back, and established series like The Sky at Night, The Truth About… and Stargazing Live.

BBC Studios, a global content company with British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, including factual, drama, entertainment and comedy. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including six production bases in the UK and production bases and partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which makes around 2,500 hours of content a year, is a champion for British creativity around the world and a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector. 


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