Putin says he doesn’t share ‘excitement’ about Greta Thunberg’s UN speech

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Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the forceful speech delivered by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg at the United Nations summit last month.

“I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg,” Putin told an energy forum in Moscow this week, according to Reuters

“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,” he continued. 

{mosads}His remarks were made in reference to a fiery speech Thunberg delivered during the U.N. General Assembly climate summit late last month, in which she called out world leaders for not doing enough to combat climate change.

At the summit, Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who had sparked climate demonstrations across the world, said that world leaders “have stolen my dreams, my childhood, with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones.” 

“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,” she also said, telling leaders: “People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of the mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”

While discussing Thunberg’s speech on Monday, Putin said that he is “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,” Putin continued, while attempting to suggest youth activists like Thunberg were being used to fulfill other people’s interests.

“But when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned,” he said at the forum.

“It’s deplorable when someone is using children and teenagers in their interests,” he also added, according to The Associated Press.


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