Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg didn’t look too pleased with Donald Trump’s unplanned and unannounced visit to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday.
The 16-year-old from Sweden spoke at the conference, marking the culmination of her fast rise to the forefront of the climate change movement, but her moment was stolen a bit by the American president and his surprise visit. Video from the conference showed the teen wearing a look of surprise — and not the happy kind — as Trump entered the room and captured the attention of cameras.
Video of Greta’s reaction to Trump has gotten viral interest across the internet, with many sharing the clip of her surprise across social media. The video also found its way to media outlets across the globe, including the BBC which noted Thunberg’s look of dismay as Trump entered the room and caused a scrum of reporters shouting questions.
The appearance came as a surprise as Trump had booked another engagement in the middle of the summit, speaking out on “protecting religious freedom,” and was not expected to attend any of the summit. As The Guardian noted, Trump had fielded questions the day before about whether he was snubbing the world and ignoring growing concern about the effects of climate change, and pushed back against it.
“No, it’s not a snub at all. I’m very busy,” he said, mentioning that he had recently been briefed about flooding that Tropical Storm Imelda had brought to Texas. “The floods are very important to me, and, uh, climate change – everything is very important.”
Greta Thunberg watched quietly as the U.S. President Donald Trump stole the show at the United Nations General Assembly, while the highly anticipated Climate Summit was taking place. https://t.co/5ig2mymjRw pic.twitter.com/7P9RR242Mm— euronews (@euronews) September 23, 2019
Despite the brief appearance by Trump, it was Greta Thunberg who garnered the most headlines for her appearance. The Swedish teenager, who has helped to spark a worldwide youth movement calling for action on climate change, took the opportunity to scold world leaders for ignoring the problem.
“I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean,” the teen said in an impassioned speech. “Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
Greta Thunberg continued to garner attention after the speech, tweeting that she and other children from around the world have filed a legal complaint claiming that some countries are violating the rights of children by failing to hold up their obligations to address climate change.