Greta Thunberg clashes with US treasury secretary in Davos
Climate activist responds after Steven Mnuchin suggests she should study economics
Donald Trump’s treasury secretary has clashed with Greta Thunberg after responding to the activist’s call for immediate fossil fuel divestment by telling the 17-year-old to go to college and study economics.
In an attempt to slap down the climate emergency movement, Steven Mnuchin pretended not to know who Thunberg was, before dismissing her concerns as ill-informed.
Asked whether calls for public and private-sector divestment from fossil fuel companies would threaten US growth, Mnuchin jibed: “Is she the chief economist? Who is she, I’m confused” – before clarifying that he was joking.
“After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us,” Mnuchin added, at a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Thunberg, 17, responded by tweeting a graph from a UN report showing how the world’s remaining carbon budget will be used up by 2027 unless global emissions are curbed.
“My gap year ends in August, but it doesn’t take a college degree in economics to realise that our remaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up,” she pointed out.