Teen environmental activist, Greta Thunberg has attacked French lawmakers for ridiculing her parliament speech which was later boycotted by far-right politicians.
Thunberg, along with a group of other young activists was invited to the French parliament by a cross-party group of politicians. On Tuesday, Thunberg spoke to legislators, urging them to ‘unite behind the science’ of climate change. “You don’t have to listen to us, but you do have to listen to the science,” the 16-year old commented.
Thunberg’s solo protest outside the Swedish Parliament set off the school climate strike, a movement which was appreciated for its emotive speeches addressed to politicians. However, the same reaction did not come from French lawmakers who ignored her speech in the National Assembly.
In connection to the boycott of Thunberg’s speech, Guillaume Larrive’s post on Twitter especially made headlines, “We do not need gurus of the apocalypse,” he wrote. Larrive is the leadership candidate for the Republicans, he also nudged his colleagues to boycott Thunberg’s speech.
Other French legislators also joined in and insulted Thunberg before her speech, among several disrespectful comments, they addressed Thunberg as a “prophetess in shorts” and the “Justin Bieber of ecology”. Moreover, the Republican MP Julien Aubert, also alleged that Thunberg should win a “Nobel Prize for Fear”. On the other hand, Jordan Bardella, an MEP for the National Rally said Thunberg’s efforts were as good as a “dictatorship of perpetual emotion”.
However, other political party members such as the President’s centrist party, En Marche, including the Greens were in support of Thunberg.
In her speech, the young activist further urged that her demands to curb carbon emissions be considered by the government members. She also responded to her critics by saying that teen activists like her had become the ‘bad guys’ who raised their voices against politicians and demanded them to do ‘uncomfortable things’ with regards to 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,” she commented.
French Green MPs however responded to the criticism to Thunberg from French lawmakers. “Larrive and Aubert are playing an internal game on the back of the battle against climate change,” rebuked Delphine Batho, head of the Generation Ecology party.