Earlier this week, it was announced that Thunberg had been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, having “succeeded in turning vague anxieties about the planet into a worldwide movement calling for global change”.
While many celebrated the Swedish teenager’s title, US president Trump launched a scathing attack on Twitter against the 16-year-old, writing: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, chill.”
Thunberg has received numerous messages of support from people across the globe, including one from the former US first lady.
“@GretaThunberg, don’t let anyone dim your light,” Obama tweeted.
“Like the girls I’ve met in Vietnam and all over the world, you have so much to offer us all.
“Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on.”
Several Twitter users praised Obama for the message of strength she addressed to Thunberg.
“This is how a leader should act. Building people up, rather than tearing them down. Oh how I miss moments like this. Class act,” one person tweeted.
“Once again, going high when they go low. How we miss you!” another commented.
Following Trump’s outburst against her on social media, Thunberg responded in a subtle and collected manner.
The environmental activist changed her personal biography on Twitter to read: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
Thunberg recently placed 100th on Forbes‘ list of the 100 most powerful women in the world for 2019, with German chancellor Angela Merkel topping the ranking.