Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he does not “share the excitement” around teenager Greta Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations, in which she condemned world leaders for failing to tackle climate change.

“Well I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg,” Putin said at an energy forum, according to Russia Today. “I am sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl. But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations. But when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interest, it deserves to be condemned.”


“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 living standard as in Sweden,” Putin said. “But how to achieve that? Probably make them use solar energy. Has someone explained to her how much it costs?”

“Explain it to them [developing countries] that they should live another 20 to 30 years in poverty and that their children should live in poverty, explain that to them,” Putin added.


Sixteen-year-old Thunberg had accused world leaders, in her address at the Climate Action Summit in New York held on September 23, for failing to act on climate change. “I shouldn’t be up here,” she had said. “You come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” She also accused the world leaders of stealing her dreams and her childhood with their hollow promises.

On September 23, Thunberg, along with 15 other young activists, filed a complaint at the United Nations against five countries for not doing their bit against global warming. The complaint said France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey had failed to uphold their promises under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was signed 30 years ago.

Fifteen petitioners from 12 different countries, including India, between the ages of eight and 17, filed the complaint against the five countries for violating children’s rights by not taking sufficient action against climate change.

United States President Donald Trump had mocked Thunberg, and Canadian MP Maxime Bernier called her alarmist and mentally unstable, Reuters reported.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.