Greta Thunberg: I don’t want to go into politics

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she will not pursue a career in politics – because it is too “toxic”.

The Swedish teenager became a household name in 2018, after she skipped school and inspired an international movement to fight climate change.

Now 19, she says the necessary changes “will only come if there’s enough public pressure from the outside – and that is something that we create”.

And she never intended to become the face of a global movement.

“It’s too much responsibility,” Ms Thunberg said. Sometimes I can snap. I say, ‘If you think that all the hope in the world rests on burned-out teenagers’ shoulders, I mean, that’s not very good.”’

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Cop27), is in Egypt, on 6-18 November – but Ms Thunberg will be absent.

“I’m not needed there,” she said. “There will be other people who will attend, from the most affected areas. And I think that their voice there is more important.”

Greta Thunberg has been telling BBC News media editor Amol Rajan about her views and life

Ms Thunberg told BBC News media editor Amol Rajan she remained unaffected by abuse on social media but said: “What I am most bothered about is when people lie about me and spread, like, conspiracy theories – because I can’t lie, so when other people lie about me, it’s like, ‘No – don’t.”’

Targeted on Twitter by several world leaders, including Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, she has responded usually by changing her Twitter profile.

“I just think it’s genuinely funny,” she said. “I mean, the most powerful people in the world feel intimidated by teenagers. That is funny. It says more about them than it does about me.”

Greta Thunberg watches as then US President Donald Trump enters the United Nations in 2019

Ms Thunberg’s most recent project has been creating and curating a book of essays by dozens of experts, to provide a toolkit for those concerned about climate change.

Amol Rajan Interviews Greta Thunberg is on BBC2, at 19:00 BST, on Tuesday, 18 October, and BBC iPlayer.

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