Greta Thunberg accuses Chinese state media of fat-shaming her
"Although she claims to be vegetarian, judging from the results of her growth, her carbon emissions are actually not low."
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been attacked on the Chinese internet after criticising the country's carbon emissions, with one article mocking her for her weight.
In an article published on China Daily, which is owned by the ruling Communist Party, the 18-year-old was mocked for her weight and labelled an "environmental princess" after she urged China to do more to address the growing climate emergency facing the world.
According to Vice, the article, which was written by Tang Ge and posted on the social media and messaging app WeChat, read: "Although she claims to be vegetarian, judging from the results of her growth, her carbon emissions are actually not low."
As usual though, she dealt with it in a typically cool and amusing fashion...
Being fat-shamed by Chinese state owned media is a pretty weird experience even by my standards. But it’s definitely going on my resume. https://t.co/VfSEHU5N1A
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) May 21, 2021
Many Chinese social media users have also joined in in attacking Greta, with many accusing her of "double standards" for criticising China but not other countries. The top comments on social media have criticised the Swede for not talking more about Japan's plan to release treated wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear power plants into the sea.
But Thunberg's criticism of China was hardly out of the ordinary or extreme. All she did was respond on Twitter to a report saying that China's annual emissions were greater than those of all developed nations combined in 2019. Which obviously is worthy of criticism.
Acknowledging that China is a developing country and a global manufacturing hub, adding that "we can't solve the climate crisis unless China drastically changes course." She did follow this up with a tweet that highlighted the USA's failings in tackling climate change as well.
As CO2 emissions stay in the atmosphere up to 1000years we of course need to look at historic emissions and in context to population and emissions per capita. And developed nation must lead so others can raise their living standards. As I say all the time. pic.twitter.com/pBhcpbtTUr
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) May 8, 2021
Thunberg has inspired young climate campaigners in China, which may explain why her comments tend to provoke such a negative reaction from large parts of the Chinese population. Thunberg has been attacked by Chinese voices before for voicing her support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors.
Likewise! We stand with you.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 14, 2019