Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Greta Thunberg’s recent speech at the United Nations, where the Swedish teenage climate activist denounced world leaders for failing to combat climate change.
“I may disappoint you, but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg,” Putin said at an energy forum in Moscow, according to Reuters’s translation of his remarks.
“No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different,” Putin continued. “People in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden.”
Putin said children who are passionate about environmental issues, like Thunberg, should be supported. But he also accused her parents of exploiting that passion.
“When someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned,” Putin said. “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.”
27 Years Before Greta Thunberg, Another Child Was Used to Address the UN, Warned of Mass Extinctions: “I Am Afraid to Breathe the Air” or Go Out in the Sun