The 17-year-old has become a figurehead for a global climate movement and her appearance on a panel in the Swiss ski resort was a sign of her growing influence on the world’s powerbrokers.
In her address to politicians, NGO leaders and business leaders, Thunberg did not hold back as she told them “your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour”.
Here are five takeaways from her day in Davos.
1. ‘Planting trees is nowhere near enough’
In the most striking section of her speech, Thunberg said planting trees was not enough to address climate change.
The comment was a thinly-veiled rebuke to a pledge made in Davos by US president Donald Trump, less than an hour earlier, that the US would join an existing initiative to plant one trillion trees.
Thunberg responded by referring to “empty words and promises” by world leaders.
She said: “We are not telling you to keep talking about reaching ‘net zero emissions’ or ‘carbon neutrality’ by cheating and fiddling around with numbers.
“We are not telling you to ‘offset your emissions’ by just paying someone else to plant trees in places like Africa while at the same time forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate.
“Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough of what is needed and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature.”
2. Young activists attended Davos
Three other young climate activists also spoke at the same panel as they said they hoped their generation had found its voice.
The combined age of the panel, which included water, electricity and health activists from Zambia, Puerto Rico and Canada, was 64 – younger than many of those in the audience.
Joining Thunberg among “change-makers” at Davos was Naomi Wadler, a 13-year-old...