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En utskrift från Dagens Nyheter, 2019-10-14 16:11

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Greta Thunberg: I have no desire to meet with President Trump

Greta Thunberg. Foto: Pontus Lundahl/TT

On Monday, climate activist Greta Thunberg will speak in front of world leaders at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

But Thunberg has no interest in meeting Donald Trump, she said in an interview with Dagens Nyheter.

 – I have no desire to meet with President Trump, Greta Thunberg said in an interview with Dagens Nyheter in Washington DC. 

– I don't see the purpose. I'm trying to educate the public and inform them about what is taking place and I don't see what a meeting with Donald Trump would achieve.

– And no one from the Trump administration has reached out to me, she said. 

In America there is a group of Republican politicians who seem to have the intellectual capacity to digest scientific information but choose not to. How should we handle them? 

– Personally, I ignore them. Because I do not want to normalize what they represent. I will not waste my time on people who do not understand or accept science. 

You met with Barack Obama. How did you prepare? 

– I don't prepare. You might think it is a big deal, and he is an important person who has a lot of influence, but I don't think about that. Actually, last night I thought: I should really be more excited, or prepare myself more than I do. I found it strange that I didn't react in a more profound way. But I don't view leaders as important persons – to me they are just normal human beings. So I don't prepare, I just enter the room and tell them what I need to tell them.  

What did you and Obama discuss? 

– We shared experiences, knowledge and ideas. It was very good because we have such different outlooks: I'm an activist and he's a president. It was very interesting  to hear what it's like on the inside.  

In which direction are you taking your climate movement now – towards science or in a more policy-oriented direction?    

– I'm trying to stay away from politics as much as I can and just communicate what the scientists say. It is not our responsibility to formulate policy. We are children, and not educated. You should listen to those who are educated.  

You're more than a child though. You're a full time activist now. Is it hard not to lecture politicians on climate policy when you meet them?

– I am tempted to start a debate, in order to make a difference. But I want to avoid that, because that sends a signal that the existence of the climate crisisis debatable. You can't. Science is clear.  

Why are you in the United States, when China is a far greater polluter? 

– Because I was invited here. If China invites me I will try to go there, too. 

Before the great school strike last Friday some school principals and business leaders gave students and employees time off in order for them to participate. Is there a risk involved in becoming part of the establishment, the very same people you’re trying to influence? 

– Yes, perhaps. But our goal is to create attention. Our aim is not to protest against schools or work places, but towards society as a whole. I'm sure some might think we are becoming less threatening, but I don't really care.