Vladimir Putin took aim at teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg today, calling her a ‘poorly informed teenager’ who was being ‘used by adults’.
The Russian president said the 16-year-old should ‘tell developing counties why they should live in poverty’ over her campaign to cut fossil fuel use.
At an energy forum today Putin told the audience he did not share the excitement about the Swede’s United Nations speech last month.
The schoolgirl electrified the UN summit in New York when she denounced world leaders for failing to tackle climate change, unleashing the outrage felt by millions of her peers by demanding: ‘How dare you?’
Putin told the energy conference, adding it was deplorable that Thunberg was being used by some groups – which he did not name – to achieve their own goals.
Chairing a session titled ‘Energy Partnership for Sustainable Growth’ at an energy forum in Moscow, Putin said: ‘I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg.
‘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.
‘Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty and not be like Sweden.’
US President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg and Canadian Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier called her alarmist and mentally unstable.
Thunberg said their mockery of children who were protesting showed her message had become ‘too loud to handle’.
Putin said young people who paid attention to environmental issues should be supported, adding: ‘But when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned.