Thunberg tells French MPs to listen to scientists
Swedish child campaigner Greta Thunberg (pictured) has dismissed mockery from French MPs who joked at her speech to parliament that was boycotted by several parliamentarians.
“You don’t have to listen to us, but you do have to listen to the science,” she told the French parliament.
The environmentalist received insults from centrist-right and far-right MPs before she made her speech.
Two prominent MPs of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s Les Republicains party called the 16-year-old a “guru of the apocalypse”.
Republicans MP Julien Aubert, who is also contending for his party’s leadership, said Thunberg should win a “Nobel Prize for fear”.
Thunberg, who was invited to Paris by a cross-party group, urged politicians to “unite” to tackle climate change.
Speaking in English, she said: “Some people have chosen not to come here today, some have chosen not to listen to us and that is fine, we are, after all, just children.”
Thunberg said children like her had become “the bad guys” for daring to tell those in power “uncomfortable things” about climate change.
“And just for quoting or acting on these numbers, these scientific facts, we receive unimaginable amounts of hate and threats. We are being mocked and lied about by members of parliament and journalists,” Thunberg added.
Millions of young people worldwide have walked out of school on Fridays to back Thunberg’s demands for action to tackle the carbon crisis.
She first protested outside the Swedish parliament last August and the Fridays for Future school strike movement has since spread to more than 100 countries.
An MEP for the far-right Rassemblement National criticised the invitation of “the Joan of Arc of climate change” while parliament was voting on the EU-Canada trade deal.
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) has been criticised for undermining the European Union’s social and ecological regulations by importing products made under conditions that would not be permitted in Europe.
Green MPs rebuked the criticism from French MPs. “Larrive and Aubert are playing an internal game on the back of the battle against climate change,” said Delphine Batho of the Generation Ecology party.
“Greta or Ceta, your choice,” said MP Francois Ruffin of the leftist La France Insoumise.
Parliament approved Ceta with a small majority of 266 to 213 votes, with 69 MPS of President Emmanuel Macron’s new party, En Marche, either abstaining or opposing it.
Macron’s party has 349 MPs in the 577-seat chamber.
Swedish child campaigner Greta Thunberg. Picture credit: Wikimedia