Leo Varadkar: Greta Thunberg is "trying to make the world a better place" states Irish leader

Irish leader Leo Varadkar defended teenaged climate change activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump mocked her contribution to the UN Climate Action Summit. 

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Varadkar told the Irish Independent that Thunberg is "trying to make the world a better place" and questioned "why would you want to slag her off" after President Trump took to Twitter to criticize her speech. 

“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Trump tweeted sarcastically. 

Read more: Irish president slams US attitude to climate change crisis

She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019

On Monday, 16-year-old Thunberg addressed the United Nations in a passionate and imploring speech in which she berated world leaders, stating "how dare you" as she spoke about the childhood stolen from her in her fight for action on climate change. 

“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing,” she said. 

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”

”People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.” Watch Greta Thunberg speak at the UN Monday morning. https://t.co/Akkxm9sXdr pic.twitter.com/ahHKlhbYaE

— WIRED (@WIRED) September 23, 2019

In response to Trump’s criticism, Taoiseach Varadkar said: "I think she's a really passionate person who has inspired young people across the world.

"I know sometimes people are critical of her but the bottom line is, she's a 16-year-old girl who's trying to make the world a better place and why would you want to slag her off?"

On Tuesday, Varadkar is meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the UN GA.

Read more: Ireland to plant 440m trees to battle climate change

Youth activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images