Greta Thunberg Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize
By Sofy Robertson
16-year-old Greta Thunberg, founder of the Youth Strike for Climate movement, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize.
Thunberg began a solo protest against climate inaction in Sweden last August and has since inspired students around the globe.
The timing of the news could not be more significant as young people from across the world take part in a second global event to protest climate inaction. Inspired by Thunberg’s #FridaysForFuture movement, children of all ages will walk out of education today to join strikes in an estimated 1,659 towns and cities from 105 countries.
Three members of the Socialist Left Party in Norway announced yesterday that they were nominating Thunberg for the honour.
Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård explains why they have proposed Thunberg for the Novel peace prize, saying:
“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees. Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.” (The Guardian)
Thunberg expressed her gratitude on Twitter, saying she is “honoured and very grateful for this nomination”. Yesterday, she called potential climate strikers to action with her tweet:
“Tomorrow we school strike for the climate in 1769 places in 112 countries around the world. And counting.
“Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed. Let’s change history.”
Marching today as part of her #FridaysForFuture campaign, Thunberg tweeted:
“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.”
The Nobel peace prize, which will be awarded in December, currently has 301 candidates; 223 individuals and 78 organisations. National politicians and some university professors are able to nominate candidates.
If Thunberg wins, she will become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history, a position currently Malala Yousafzai who won the prize at 17-years-old. Yousafzai was awarded the prize in 2014 for her struggle to provide all children with the right to education after surviving a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012.
While some politicians, including the UK’s prime minister, have opposed the school strikes, many have expressed their support including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Ireland’s Leo Varadkar. The mayors of Paris, Milan, Sydney, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, Oslo, Barcelona and Montreal added their backing on Thursday.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris and the chair of the C40 group of cities said:
“It is truly inspiring to see young people, led by brilliant young women, making their voices heard and demanding urgent climate action. They are absolutely correct that our actions today will determine their futures. My message to young citizens is clear: it is our responsibility as adults and political leaders to learn from you and deliver the future you want.” (The Guardian)
The strikes have also been supported by the head of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo, who stated:
“Children are often told they are ‘tomorrow’s leaders’. But if they wait until ‘tomorrow’ there may not be a future in which to lead. Young people are putting their leaders to shame with the passion and determination they are showing to fight this crucial battle now.”
Thunberg, who was recently named one of Rolling Stone’s Women Shaping the Future, told the magazine:
“We are living in a very interesting time, where something is going to happen.
“Change is on the horizon, but to see that change we also have to change ourselves.” (Rolling Stone)