An exasperated Greta Thunberg has scolded “presidents, prime ministers, kings and princesses” she claims only want to burnish their image by being photographed in her presence.
As part of a new series about her campaigning made for Swedish radio during the coronavirus lockdown, Thunberg revealed the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had waited to have a “selfie” with the teenager at a U.N. climate gathering in New York.
It was in the U.N. she delivered her “how dare you” speech. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words”, she told the gathered world leaders.
On the radio program, the Guardian reports the teenage climate worrier was critical of the way high-ranking figures had behaved afterwards. 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.
It seemed as if they had forgotten for a moment to be ashamed that their generation had let future generations down.
In follow-up comments made to the BBC, Thunberg, who has more than 4m Twitter followers, said she had a “dislike” for politicians like Merkel who seek to capitalise on her fame by being photographed alongside her.
“To be fair, it was not only her, it was many,” she said, when asked about the situation with Merkel. “And those kinds of things happen all the time. People just want to stand next to me and other climate activists.
“They can post it on social media and it makes them look good, it makes them seem like they care.”
As Breitbart News reported, it is not just world leaders who seek to align their causes with Thunberg.
Last year Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway heaped praise on the teen climate crusader, posting an Instagram video of Thunberg at the U.N. accompanied by the hashtag “#ImWithGreta.”
A few weeks later, Thunberg again issued a warning to world leaders to be careful of their actions when she told a crowd in Italy that “we will make sure we put world leaders against the wall” if they do not do what she tells them to do.
“Unfortunately, we probably already know the outcome. World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities but we have to make sure they cannot do that. We will make sure that we put them against the wall and they will have to do their job to protect our futures,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.