‘Appreciate reminders of my responsibility’ - Roger Federer responds to Greta Thunberg’s criticism over climate crisis
Several protesters gathered outside the court in Lausanne, and some of them carried banners which read: “Credit Suisse is destroying the planet. Roger, do you support them?”Updated: Jan 12, 2020 17:24 IST
Tennis star Roger Federer on Sunday issued a response on the rising criticism from climate activists, including teenager Greta Thunberg, over his sponsorship deal with Swiss financial giants Credit Suisse, which are closely linked with the fossil fuel industry. Earlier this week, around a dozen Swiss climate activists made a court appearance after they refused to pay the fine for playing tennis inside branches of Credit Suisse bank in November 2018, a stunt intended to criticise Federer’s involvement with the company.
Several protesters gathered outside the court in Lausanne, and some of them carried banners which read: “Credit Suisse is destroying the planet. Roger, do you support them?” The protesters, most of whom were students, said that they were appealing against the fine imposed on the climate activists. #RogerWakeUpNow also trended on Twitter this past week.
“Since 2016 @CreditSuisse has provided $57 BILLION to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits - something that is utterly incompatible with #ClimateAction @RogerFederer do you endorse this? #RogerWakeUpNow,” a tweet from climate activist group 350.org Europe read. The tweet was also shared by 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
In response to criticism, Federer sent a statement to news agency Reuters, The Guardian reported. In his statement, Federer said that he takes climate crisis seriously. “I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amidst devastation from the bushfires,” he said.
The 20-time Grand Slam Champion also added that he is grateful to young climate activists for pushing everyone to be more careful about climate. “As the father of four young children and a fervent supporter of universal education, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the youth climate movement, and I am grateful to young climate activists for pushing us all to examine our behaviours and act on innovative solutions,” he said.
Federer added: “We owe it to them and ourselves to listen. I appreciate reminders of my responsibility as a private individual, as an athlete and as an entrepreneur, and I’m committed to using this privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors.”