Greta Thunberg has spoken about being targeted by world leaders for campaigning about the climate crisis.
Since her first school strike in Sweden in 2015, the teenager has been the subject of verbal attacks from the likes of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Jair Bolsonaro.
Trump famously erupted on Twitter when Thunberg was named TIME Magazine’s Person Of The Year in 2019, writing: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
In a new interview with the Times, Thunberg said politicians attacking her was just a diversion tactic. “Since people are so desperate not to talk at any cost about the climate crisis, they are going to try to do everything to distract,” she explained.
“Instead of speaking about the climate crisis they are going to try to make this a debate about me or my personality or my appearance or my parents or my sister or whatever, so you just have to come to terms with that very early on.”
Thunberg, who turned 18 today (January 3), also shared her opinion on Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan for the environment, saying it was “better than nothing”, but had “received a lot of criticism from the scientific community”.
The activist was similarly unimpressed with the environmental policies put forward by Joe Biden and Trump ahead of last year’s US election. “Maybe if Trump wins that will be the spark that makes people angry enough to start protesting and really demanding things for the climate crisis,” she said.
Of Biden, she added: “I’m not saying that Joe Biden is good or his policies are close to being enough. They are not.”