If she had the opportunity, Greta Thunberg says, she “wouldn’t have wasted time” talking to US President Donald Trump about the threat of climate change.
The Swedish activist was being interviewed on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday morning, which she had been invited to guest-edit.
In September, a video of the 16-year-old giving Trump what was described as a “death stare”, at a United Nations climate summit in New York, went viral on social media.
Trump is pulling the United States – one of the world’s leading carbon emitters – out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming, and has repeatedly questioned climate science.
When Thunberg was asked what she would have said to the President if they had managed to speak, she replied: “Honestly, I don’t think I would have said anything because obviously he’s not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me?
“So I probably wouldn’t have said anything. I wouldn’t have wasted my time,” she added.
Thunberg has dedicated her life to fighting climate change, travelling across the globe via train and boat to raise awareness. She has inspired millions of young people to take action against the dangers posed by the rapidly-warming planet.
She was also named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year and said becoming an activist has helped her mental health. She suffers from depression.
Trump later took to Twitter to attack her for being the award.
“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” he Tweeted.
This month, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro called Thunberg “a brat”.
“It is staggering the amount of coverage the press gives that brat,” Bolsonaro said at the time.
In response, Thunberg said she regarded personal attacks on her as funny and she hoped to go back to having a normal life.
“Those attacks are just funny because they obviously don’t mean anything,” she said.
“I guess of course it means something – they are terrified of young people bringing change which they don’t want – but that is just proof that we are actually doing something and that they see us as some kind of threat.”
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