Vladimir Putin dismisses Greta Thunberg as a ‘poorly informed teenager’ and says: ‘Go tell developing countries why they should continue to live in poverty and not be like Sweden’
- Vladimir Putin criticised climate activist Greta Thunberg during an energy forum
- Russian president described Swedish schoolgirl as a ‘poorly informed teenager’
- He said he didn’t ‘share common excitement’ about her UN speech in New York
- Last month she denounced world leaders for failing to tackle climate change
Vladimir Putin took aim at teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg today, calling her a ‘poorly informed teenager’ who was being ‘used by adults’.
The Russian president said the 16-year-old should ‘tell developing countries why they should live in poverty’ over her campaign to cut fossil fuel use.
At an energy forum today Putin told the audience he did not share the excitement about the Swede’s United Nations speech last month.
The schoolgirl electrified the UN summit in New York when she denounced world leaders for failing to tackle climate change, unleashing the outrage felt by millions of her peers by demanding: ‘How dare you?’
Putin told the energy conference, adding it was deplorable that Thunberg was being used by some groups – which he did not name – to achieve their own goals.
Chairing a session titled ‘Energy Partnership for Sustainable Growth’ at an energy forum in Moscow, Putin said: ‘I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg.
‘No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different and…people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden.
‘Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty and not be like Sweden.’
US President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg and Canadian Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier called her alarmist and mentally unstable.
Thunberg said their mockery of children who were protesting showed her message had become ‘too loud to handle’.
Putin said young people who paid attention to environmental issues should be supported, adding: ‘But when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned.
I’m sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl. But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations.’
Inspired by Thunberg’s solitary weekly protest outside the Swedish parliament a year ago, millions of people have poured onto the streets around the globe to demand governments take emergency action on climate change.
Thunberg told the UN conference: ‘This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?.
‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,’ she said.
Earlier this week, a member of the Russian lower house of parliament, the Duma, invited Thunberg to Russia to deliver a speech.
Last week Thunberg slammed her ‘haters’ who mocked her appearance and autism on social media as being ‘threatened’ by her.
The youngster made international headlines last month as she inspired millions of people across 150 countries to take to the streets for the Global Strike 4 Climate on Friday.
Before the strike, the 16-year-old Swede addressed Congress and criticised President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Change Agreement early in his tenure.
Thunberg made a stand against climate change in 2018 when she skipped school to stage a one-person demonstration outside Sweden’s parliament in Stockholm.
Her protest ignited a nationwide movement in Sweden thanks to social media and earned Thunberg a Nobel Prize nomination.