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Greta Thunberg responds to her critics in Lausanne

Une jeune fille passe un micro à un homme âgé
Greta Thunberg and Nobel prizewinner Jacques Dubochet are both at the climate summit in Lausanne. Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone

Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg has dismissed claims that she is being manipulated, saying that people should concentrate on the climate crisis rather than on her. 

She was speaking in an interview with Swiss public television RTS in Lausanne, western Switzerland, where she is attending a week-long climate summit with young activists from around the world.

Thunberg, who instigated the phenomenon of Friday “climate strikes”, has addressed high level international gatherings and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. Soon she will travel to the US (by boat) to speak at the United Nations.

Her activism and prominence are starting to draw criticism, however, with some saying she is manipulated by her parents, that she doesn’t know what she is talking about, and that she is proposing simplistic solutions. 

There have also been attacks linked to her autism and her physique.

Speaking to RTS, Thunberg responded. 


Greta Thunberg also received the backing of Jacques Dubochet, the Swiss winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, who expressed his support and admiration on Swiss public radio (RTS).



Jacques Dubochet defends Greta Thunberg

This content was published on Swiss chemist Jacques Dubochet, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017, praises Thunberg, herself sometimes mentioned as a possible candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more: Jacques Dubochet defends Greta Thunberg

The “Smile for Future” summit in the city of Lausanne started on Monday and brings together youth activists from across Europe for workshops and discussions around the topic of tackling climate change.

More than 450 young people from 38 countries – including Thunberg, who arrived by train Sunday evening – are expected to attend the week-long summit in the University of Lausanne, which will culminate in a strike on Friday afternoon.


Adapted from French by Julia Crawford

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR