Thunberg and merkel in new york: annoyed by small talk and selfies

Interlude at the UN climate summit: her brief encounter last year with Angela Merkel apparently stressed rather than impressed Greta Thunberg.

The conversation on the sidelines of the UN climate summit Photo: dpa

It was – next to the words "How dare you", which have been part of the standard repertoire of every climate demo since then – probably the scene that received the most attention in Germany when the United Nations invited to the climate summit last September: Angela Merkel and Greta Thunberg in a cosy conversation.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert published the allegedly spontaneous picture on Twitter, photo agencies circulated it further, many media printed it – including the taz (headline of the print edition: "Activist meets Passivist").

But how the meeting came about and what the two unequal women talked about could only be speculated about – until now: Because now the Swedish climate activist has published a kind of diary of her trip to the U.S. in Time magazine – and in the very readable text also briefly mentions the meeting with the German Chancellor. Namely, as one of many people who, while she actually wanted to prepare for her imminent major speech at the UN General Assembly, wanted to "make small talk and selfies."

About the point of such photos, she says sarcastically, "I think it helps them sleep better at night." Thunberg only reports that Merkel congratulated her and asked whether she could share the photo of the meeting on social media.


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