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Macron rebukes actions of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at UN

Thunberg along with a group of young activists filed a complaint accusing five countries, including France, of not doing enough to fight climate change

PARIS, September 24. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized actions of Swedish 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg undertaken at the UN, the president told the Europe 1 radio station on Tuesday.

Thunberg, having delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly session in New York on Monday, filed a complaint along with a group of young activists campaigning to protect our planet’s ecology with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The complaint alleges that five countries (Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey) are not doing enough to fight climate change and, therefore, violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"I highly doubt that this is the most effective way to solve the problem," the French president said in view of this. Macron pointed out that "all mobilization campaigns launched by youngsters and more senior people are undeniably useful [to fight climate change]. However, it is necessary that these campaigns focus on those [countries] who went too far, on those who are trying to block action to protect climate." "I do not think that the current French and German governments are the ones to block actions [to protect the environment]," Macron underlined.

"I doubt that these actions [of Thunberg] are the most effective approach to resolve the issue, considering the fact that France is phasing out coal usage, shutting down facilities producing fossil fuels [on its territory] and taking other measures," the French leader said. He also expressed an opinion that "the most radical positions [of ecologists] are only dividing society."

Ministers’ support

The French leader’s statement was supported in the media and by ministers of his government. "I believe the French president is actively addressing ecological problems. To attack France that it allegedly is not taking enough measures on climate change is an unjustified and excessive approach," Minister of Solidarity and Health Agnes Buzyn told CNEWS on Tuesday.

In turn, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson told Radio France Inter that "Greta Thunberg is, of course, good and important, she mobilizes people to protect climate. However, what specific solutions does she propose? I am not aware of them."

"I don’t think that people should be mobilized primarily based on the feeling of despair, hatred almost, in effect pitting people against each other." "She should rather take initiatives to truly allow us stepping into the 21st century with dignity," the secretary of state stressed.