Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t share the same enthusiasm that the world feels for Greta Thunberg’s “How dare you?” speech.
Putin openly criticized the environmentalist claiming Thunberg is a child being used. The strongman took swipes at the teenage activist in an energy conference that was held in his country’s capital, Moscow.
At the event, Putin said Thunberg should make an effort to explain why developing countries find it difficult to rise above poverty. Speaking at a session on Energy Partnership for Sustainable Growth, the president said:
“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.”
Thunberg’s rousing speech scolding world leaders on their inaction in fighting climate change was delivered at a United Nations Climate Summit held late September. Following the speech, United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter to mock the young activist. Maxime Bernier, Member of Canada’s Parliament, claimed Thunberg is an alarmist and questioned her mental stability.
Putin said while it should be commended that the youth are paying attention to the environment, “…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,” he added.
Despite criticism from world leaders, Thunberg’s message continues to be heard. The activist called for a global climate strike. Millions of people from around the world answered the call on September 27, standing in solidarity for the planet.