US President Donald Trump has used his official Twitter account to make a sarcastic remark about 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s condemnation of world leaders’ attitude towards climate change.
Linking to a video of the Swedish teenager giving an impassioned speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday, where she accused leaders of “stealing her dreams”, Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
His comments were quickly condemned as “disgusting”.
His response came hours after a video clip showing Thunberg glaring at Trump went viral.
Trump, who has faced fierce criticism for his scepticism over climate change, dropped by to listen to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s detailed pledges, including going coal-free. He then left without saying anything.
In her impassioned speech, Thunberg told delegates they would never be forgiven if they failed to tackle rising temperatures.
The teenager, who travelled from Britain to the US by yacht to avoid flying, said she should not be up on stage, but should be in school on the other side of the ocean.
She said: “You come to us young people for hope – how dare you? You have stolen my dreams, my childhood with your empty words.
“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing, we are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and the fairy tale of endless economic growth. How dare you?
“How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”
Since her protest began, teenagers in dozens of countries have followed suit, culminating in climate strikes in more than 150 countries last week.
When Trump met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, a reporter from the Pakistani press corps asked him about mediating the India-Pakistan standoff over the disputed Kashmir region.
When the reporter told the president he would deserve a Nobel Prize if he could resolve the dispute, the Trump readily agreed.
He told the reporter he would get the Nobel Prize “for a lot of things if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t”.