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Climate activist Greta Thunberg replies to French critics

Greta Thunberg in the Senate in Rome, 18 April 2019.
Greta Thunberg in the Senate in Rome, 18 April 2019. Getty Images

After several right wing French MPs accused Sweden's Greta Thunberg of being manipulated by green business ahead of her address to parliamentarians on Tuesday,  the young activist says they seem more scared of her than of climate change.

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"That is just hilarious," Thunberg told Konbini News. "I have never once met a climate activist who was in this for money.

"It's also sad that people are so desperate that they make things up and it seems like they are more scared and concerned about me and some young people protesting than the actual problem."

On Monday several MPs from the far right National Rally (RN) and mainstream right Republicans (LR) voiced their objections to the 16-year old speaking to MPs about climate change during a meeting on Tuesday at the Palais Bourbon.

Some said Thunberg, founder of the Fridays for Future student movement, was being "manipulated" by green business interests and would therefore boycott her address.

"There is no one behind me," Thunberg said in the Konbini interview. "I receive help from everyone. Everyone who thinks the climate crisis is important basically offers help."

The accusations against the 16-year old are not new. In February, former green MP Isabelle Attard published an article in Reporterre detailing how Thunberg was being used by green capitalism.

Attard questioned the teenager's links with Ingmar Rentzhog, an adviser with a think tank linked to the Davos world economic forum who had used her name to raised close to 10 million Swedish krona (945,000 euros) for a new share issue.

The story was based on an investigation by Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

“We shouldn't be naive about the role some adults in her entourage are playing," Attard said while underlining her support "for Greta's fight".

Thunberg will speak today alongside some 150 MPs, the vice-chair of the IPCC, French climate scientist Valérie Masson-Delmotte and some 40 other French teenagers.

While some MPs have questioned Thunberg's legitimacy to talk about climate change, she told Konbini News she would stick to the facts.

"I'm planning to talk a lot about the carbon dioxide budget from the last IPCC report. Just refer to the science and say 'this is it'."

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