Greta Thunberg nominated for Noble Peace Price
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Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who inspired the global Youth Strike for Climate movement, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Image Credit: MR Online
In August of last year, Thunberg grew increasingly worried at the alarming state of climate affairs. Feeling that she could no longer remain inactive, she took her bicycle to the Swedish parliament, skipped school and protested solo, with a handmade banner reading “skolstrejk för klimatet” ("School strike for climate"). Less than a year on, her activism has inspired people in more than 128 countries to skip school to protest for policy change.
She was nominated for the Prize by three Norwegian politicians. The Guardian reported that Socialist Party MP Freddy André Øvstegård claimed that the basis of her nomination stemmed from her inspiration of a "mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace."
He continued: ”If we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees."
Honoured and very grateful for this nomination https://t.co/axO4CAFXcz— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 14, 2019
The 16-year-old spoke last year at the UN Climate Summit in Katowice, addressing the world leaders in a powerful speech and declaring that, "You are never too small to make a difference."
She said, "You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes".
Her honest words and emblematic braids represent a voice that champions the younger generation. The videos of her speeches have received global attention and mobilised social media channels, catapulting her into the spotlight of environmental activism.
The organic sincerity of her protests and the way she articulates the anguish of the youth, to whom it appears no one is listening, has struck a chord with children and adults alike. When travelling, she herself vows not to take planes, choosing 30-hour train journeys instead.
Many politicians, including Merkel and Macron, support these school strikes for the climate. However Thunberg, speaking to the Guardian Environment Editor Jonathan Watts, says she does not understand why they do, when they are the people she is criticising. She does not want their appreciation, rather, she wants them to feel the same fear that she has felt and treat the climate issues as issues.
Youth Strike for Climate movement is not without its criticism. The education minsters of both Australia and the UK have claimed that children striking from school is not to be encouraged and disrupts learning time.
There are 301 candidates for the 2019 prize: 223 individuals and 78 organisations. The prize will be announced in October and awarded in December.
If Greta Thunberg were to be successful, she would be the youngest person to ever have won, preceding Malala Yousufzai, who won in 2017 at the age of 17 for her advocacy of girls' and women's rights to education.
Lead Image: MR Online