Thunberg and Trump briefly crossed paths at the United Nations in September. Following Thunberg’s impassioned and grave speech about climate change, Trump seemed to mock her on Twitter, writing, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
When DeGeneres asked Thunberg if she would take the opportunity, if invited, to meet with Trump and discuss climate change with him, she cooly replied, “I don’t understand why I would. I don’t see what I could tell him that he hasn’t already heard, and I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Thunberg spoke about first learning about climate change as a child, and then realizing that so few people in power were actually doing anything to stop it. She also explained some of the smaller things she’s done in her everyday life to combat climate change, such as refusing to fly, going vegan and declining to buy new things unless she really has to.
Thunberg also spoke about watching her initial climate strike evolve into a global movement. “I would never have expected that something like that would happen,” she said. “I just thought I need to do whatever I can do, and it’s obviously not going to be enough, but at least it’s something. I needed to, just for myself, make sure that I did whatever I could, so I could look myself in the eye in this crisis.”