Technology & Science

Greta Thunberg declines climate prize

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has inspired protests around the world urging leaders to better tackle global warming, has declined an environmental prize, saying "the climate movement does not need any more prizes."

Climate movement doesn't need more awards, but for politicians to listen to science, Swedish teen says

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, seen at a climate rally in Vancouver, on Friday, has declined the Nordic Council's environmental prize, worth $68,000 Cdn. (Melissa Renwick/Canadian Press)

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has inspired protests around the world urging leaders to better tackle global warming, has declined an environmental prize, saying "the climate movement does not need any more prizes."

Two fellow climate activists spoke on Thunberg's behalf at an awards ceremony Tuesday in Stockholm for the regional interparliamentary Nordic Council's prizes. The two read a statement thanking the group for the honour.

Thunberg, 16, is currently in California.

But Sofia and Isabella Axelsson quoted Thunberg as saying "what we need is for our rulers and politicians to listen to the research."

The Nordic Council hands out annual prizes for literature, youth literature, film, music and the environment, each worth 350,000 Danish kroner ($68,000 Cdn).

It was not the first prize the climate activist has been nominated for or won.

Three Norwegian lawmakers nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize this year because they believe "the massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution."

Last year, about three months into her school climate strike campaign, Thunberg declined another award — the Children's Climate Prize, which is awarded by a Swedish electricity company — because many of the finalists had to fly to Stockholm for the ceremony.

Thunberg notes that flights contribute to global warming, so she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for two weeks on a zero-emissions sailboat to reach New York. There the Swede scolded a UN climate conference in September , repeatedly asking, "How dare you?"

"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and yet all you can talk about is money. You are failing us," she said.

Weeks later, Thunberg won the 2019 Right Livelihood Award — known as the Alternative Nobel — "for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts."

In May 2019, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine, which named her a "next generation leader."

 

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