The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and The Grand Tour host was attacked on social media after slamming the 18-year-old in his Sunday Times column, criticising her appearance at the COP26 summit.
He wrote: “I simply don’t get the Thunberg phenomenon.
"She has no knowledge of how the world works, no manners and no letters after her name because instead of going to school, she’s been busy sailing round the world so she can be mardy and abusive to grown ups.”
He added she needs “a smacked bottom” which prompted scores of people to rebuke him over the “inappropriate” choice of phrase.
Among the deluge of comments, one person tweeted: “61-year-old Jeremy Clarkson calling for 18 year old Greta Thunberg to have her bottom smacked deserves a far more WTAF???? response than it got. Middle aged white men using column inches to have pops at a young girl who is concerned about the environment is just f***ing weird.”
Another added: “That Jeremy Clarkson thought it was ok to write that Greta Thunberg needs “a smacked bottom”… And the Times decided it was ok to publish… I simply cannot fathom. What year have I time-travelled back to exactly?’ and ‘Today Jeremy Clarkson said Greta Thunberg “needs a smacked bottom”. Real normal s**t.”
The former Top Gear host also said the climate activist’s time would be better spent raising awareness in non-Western countries with poor climate records.
He added: “What you should be doing instead is cycling to countries where people are perhaps less well aware of what should be done. China for example. That I’d like to see. Greta standing outside Zhongnanhai with her parka and her Glastonbury backpack and her microphone, lecturing the leaders about their policies on coal and trees and so on.”
The 18-year-old activist, who inspired the youth climate strike movement with her one-person school protest starting in 2018, was not invited to formally address the COP26 conference.
But she told protestors at a march last Friday the UN talks were “now a global north greenwash festival, a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah” and branded it a failure.