The Swedish teen eco-activist, who has posed alongside Britain’s Prince Charles and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, believes that high-ranking figures use her to score political points.
Greta Thunberg has put to shame politicians who use meetings with her as a media opportunity.
“Presidents, prime ministers, kings and princesses came and wanted to talk to me”, Thunberg said on Swedish public radio. “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”.
The eco-activist first drew international attention with solo strikes for legislative action on climate change outside the Swedish parliament in 2018. She then spearheaded a global movement called Fridays for Future, which encourages students to skip classes for similar strikes.
Greta’s fight against climate-negligent politicians reached its pinnacle last September with her teary “How dare you?” speech at the UN summit in New York.
There, she was photographed with several high-ranking politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“To be fair, it was not only her, it was many”, she told the BBC, speaking about her September encounter 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”.
At the UN summit, Thunberg was also photographed greeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Days later, she had a photo-op with Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, who gave her the symbolic keys to the city.
The teenage activist also posed in January alongside Britain’s Prince Charles, a long-time environmental activist, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Thunberg said she had a “dislike” for those politicians who wanted to take advantage of her fame by being pictured alongside her.