Climate activist Greta Thunberg has called out world leaders for taking selfies with her to “look good”, namedropping German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Last September, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic to speak at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York. It was there that she passionately told world leaders: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.
“And yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
“You are failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say, ‘We will never forgive you.'”
At the event, Thunberg said Merkel queued for a selfie with her. “It was not only [Merkel], it was many,” she said in a Swedish podcast series, as per the BBC.
She said presidents, prime ministers, kings, and princesses wanted to talk to her.
“They saw me and suddenly saw the chance that they could take a photo with me for their Instagram account. Then the hashtag #savetheplanet.”
Thunberg said she was sceptical of the leaders asking for selfies. “Perhaps it makes them forget the shame of their generation letting all future generations down,” she said. “I guess maybe it helps them to sleep at night.”
View this post on Instagram
“The emperors are naked. Every single one. It turns out our whole society is just one big nudist party.” I’ve spent a lot of the lockdown writing a script for a radio show/podcast. The last edits were made tonight around 4am… I talk about some of my experiences, reflections and meetings during the last year, the importance of listening to the science and above all why the climate- and ecological crisis can not be solved within today’s systems. It is now available in both English and Swedish at sr.se and spotify (link in bio). Programmet sänds kl 13 idag i P1. #sommarip1
You can listen to the English version of the podcast, right here.
For 97 weeks now, Thunberg has protested for climate action by striking from school. The movement, Fridays For Future, was officially founded in August of 2018 after Thunberg, who was 15 at the time, sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks. She was joined by fellow young protesters demanding climate action from our leaders.
Amid the pandemic, Thunberg has been striking from home.