US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is in no position to give economic advice until she goes to college and comes out with an economics degree.
At a press briefing at the World Economic Forum, Mr Mnuchin took a swipe at the 17-year-old environmental campaigner for her recommendation that the public and private sectors should divest from fossil fuels.
When asked how that would affect the US economic model, Mr Mnuchin took a swipe at Greta, asking if she was an economist and saying it “was a joke”.
He said that “after she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us”.
Greta launched the school strike movement in her native Sweden in a bid to put pressure on world leaders to step up measures to combat climate change.
She spoke at the Davos gathering of the world elite earlier in the week.
Prophets of doom
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has wasted little time to push back against US president Donald Trump’s description of climate campaigners as “the perennial prophets of doom” who predict the “apocalypse”.
Although Mr Trump did not mention her directly in his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos, it was clear he had his sights on the 17-year-old, who shot to fame a year ago by staging a regular strike at her school and sparked a global environmental movement.
She then beat the US president to receive Time Magazine’s award as the 2019 Person of the Year.
“The facts are clear, but they are still too uncomfortable for you to address,” she told business and political leaders in Davos just after Mr Trump’s speech, also without directly mentioning the president.
“You just leave it because you think it’s too depressing and people will give up, but people will not give up. You are the ones who are giving up.”