Roger Federer responds when Greta Thunberg joins the growing criticism

'We owe it to them to listen': Roger Federer issues response after criticism from climate change activist Greta Thunberg

'We owe it to them to listen': Roger Federer issues response after criticism from climate change activist Greta Thunberg

"I appreciate the reminders regarding my responsibility as an individual, as an athlete and as an entrepreneur, and I commit myself to using this privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors", Federer replied in a statement.

A group of climate activists faced court last week after refusing to pay fines related to a publicity stunt at multiple Credit Suisse branches in Switzerland previous year.

Protesters with signs gathered outside the courtroom in Lausanne, and the hashtag #RogerWakeUpNow trended on Twitter. It also recently announced in the context of its global climate strategy, it will no longer invest in new coal-fired power plants.

The stunt was meant to make people aware of the bank's investments in fossil fuels and stop them from "acting like nothing is happening".

In his ruling on Monday, Judge Philippe Colelough said due to the imminent danger of the climate crisis the students, who wore complete tennis outfits as part of their demonstration, were not guilty of refusing to pay fines linked to charges like protesting without a permit and resisting police.

"If anyone can chip in, that's great because it's nice to show solidarity and help in a situation, which has become quite incredible in this country", the 38-year-old said, joining other tennis players in pledging funds.

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Credit Suisse released a statement this morning which read: "Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges our planet is facing".

The activists - majority students - appeared in court in Renens, Lausanne, on 7 January to appeal against the fine. "Roger Federer, do you approve of this?" wrote the environmental NGO 350.org in a message retweeted by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal will headline Wednesday's exhibition at Melbourne Park, which will the Australian Open Grand Slam from January 20.

"Roger, do you support them?", referencing reports which suggest that Credit Suisse has invested large sums of money in the search for new fossil fuel deposits.

"I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amid devastation from the bush fire", Federer said in a statement to Reuters.

"I am grateful to young climate activists for pushing us all to examine our behaviors and act on innovative solutions", he continued.

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