Greta Thunberg: Teen tells UK politicians ‘listen to climate scientists’ – BBC News

Media captionEnvironmental activist Greta Thunberg says climate change is ‘an existential crisis’

A teenage environmental activist has urged British politicians to “listen to the scientists” on climate change.

Greta Thunberg, 16, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she did not expect to change their minds single-handedly, saying: “We need to do that together.”

The Swedish teenager, who inspired the school climate strikes movement, met with MPs and party leaders.

She also praised the work of Extinction Rebellion, as climate change protests continued into their second week.

Miss Thunberg said her message for politicians was: “Listen to the science, listen to the scientists. Invite them to talk.

“I am just speaking on behalf of them, I’m trying to say what they’ve been saying for decades,” she said.

‘Non-violent disruption’

The teenager sparked an international youth movement after she staged a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish Parliament in August last year.

Since then she has met Pope Francis and addressed the European Parliament. Speaking about her newfound fame, she said: “It’s unbelievable, I can’t really take it in.”

Miss Thunberg, who says she gave up flying in 2015, travelled for two days by train to reach the UK.

She has said that her generation will not be able to fly except in emergencies “if we are the least bit serious” about preventing global warming greater than 1.5C.

The interview comes as Extinction Rebellion activists took over part of the Natural History Museum on Monday.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested since the protests began in central London a week ago.

Miss Thunberg, who spoke to the crowds in Marble Arch on Sunday, told the BBC that disruptive action “definitely has a lot of impact”.

Asked whether it was necessary, she said: “As long as it’s non-violent, I think that could definitely make a difference.”

‘No point in anything’

Miss Thunberg said she first heard about climate change aged about eight years old. “I was just very moved,” she said.

“When I was 11 I became very depressed,” she added. “It had a lot to do with the climate and ecological crisis. I thought everything was just so wrong and nothing was happening and there’s no point in anything.”

After realising she could make a difference, she said she promised herself that “I was going to do something good with my life”.

The teenager also admitted that, when she first told her parents of her plan to miss school every Friday, they “weren’t very fond of that idea”.

In the wide-ranging BBC interview, Miss Thunberg said that having Asperger’s had helped her in life: “It makes me different, and being different is a gift I would say. It also makes me see things from outside the box.

“I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things. If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”

Asked what she would say if she met US President Donald Trump, she said: “I can’t really say anything to him that he hasn’t heard before.

“Obviously he’s not listening to the science and to what we have to say so I wouldn’t be able to change his mind.”

In 2017, Mr Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement on tackling climate change.

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Greta Thunberg: Teen tells UK politicians ‘listen to climate scientists’ – BBC News

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