- In a Swedish radio series about her campaigning, Greta Thunberg said that world leaders take selfies with her to “look good.”
- The 17-year-old climate activist namedropped German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who apparently queued up for a photo with her at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September 2019.
- “Perhaps it makes them forget the shame of their generation letting all future generations down,” she said. “I guess maybe it helps them to sleep at night.”
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Greta Thunberg called out world leaders for taking selfies with her to “look good,” namedropping German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for one.
The 17-year-old climate activist made the comments during a series about her campaigning for Swedish radio, an English text of which was made available for the BBC.
Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic to address a special UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September 2019 where she passionately told world leaders: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words … how dare you!”
According to Thunberg, Merkel queued for a selfie with her at the event, though, the activist stipulated that “it was not only [Merkel], it was many.”
She said: “Presidents, prime ministers, kings and princesses came and wanted to talk to me.
“They saw me and suddenly saw the chance that they could take a photo with me for their Instagram account. Then the hashtag #savetheplanet.
“Perhaps it makes them forget the shame of their generation letting all future generations down”, she said. “I guess maybe it helps them to sleep at night.”
As per Insider’s Aylin Woodward, Thunberg launched the “Fridays for Future” movement in 2018, which urged students to skip school to demand action on climate change from their governments.
In November, when she was a ninth-grader, Thunberg staged a strike for two weeks outside the Swedish parliament, demanding that the government cut emissions by 15% a year.
Now she spends every Friday on strike. On September 20, 2019, she was joined in protest by an estimated 4 million people across 161 countries.
Earlier this year, Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the second year running.
“Greta Thunberg is a climate activist, and the main reason she deserves the Nobel Peace Prize is that despite her young age, she has worked hard to make politicians open their eyes to the climate crisis,” Swedish lawmakers Jens Holm and Hakan Svenneling said in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, according to The Hill.
The activist’s work toward “reducing our emissions and complying with the Paris Agreement is therefore also an act of making peace,” the lawmakers said.