Greta Thunberg: World leaders want selfies with me so they can 'look good'

28 June 2020, 00:45 | Updated: 28 June 2020, 04:37

Greta Thunberg has voiced her frustration with world leaders who want selfies with her just so they can "look good".

The 17-year-old environmental campaigner criticised the behaviour of high-ranking figures after her speech at the United Nations climate change summit last September.

In a series for Swedish radio about her campaigning, she said: "Presidents, prime ministers, kings and princesses came and wanted to talk to me.

"They saw me and suddenly saw the chance that they could take a photo with me for their Instagram account. Then the hashtag #savetheplanet.

"It seemed as if they had forgotten for a moment to be ashamed that their generation had let future generations down."

She had earlier told the BBC that Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel was among those who had queued for a selfie with her.

"To be fair, it was not only her, it was many," she said.

"And those kinds of things happen all the time. People just want to stand next to me and other climate activists.

"They can post it on social media and it makes them look good, it makes them seem like they care."

She said she was often seen as "someone to stand next to, to look good, and that is something I really dislike because that's not the sort of person I want to be".

On Swedish radio, she also spoke of her hope that changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic would encourage more action against global warming.