Greta Thunberg, A 16-Year-Old Climate Activist, Has Been Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Greta Thunberg, A 16-Year-Old Climate Activist, Has Been Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

She spoke about how everyone only seemed to bother about their age and their looks while emissions are still rising.

Swedish high-school student and environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 16, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless work towards combating global warming, according to HuffPost. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees,” Norwegian lawmaker Freddy André Øvstegård told Norwegian news outlet VG. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.” Recently, Sweden witnessed the hottest summer ever, and Thunberg went on a strike in August to force politicians to act. 


Since then, she has inspired several other people to do the same, creating the #FridaysForFuturemovement, which saw thousands of young people enlisting to skip school on a Friday to march for policy action on environmental issues. Thunberg spoke at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland this past December where she told lawmakers they were “not mature enough to tell it like it is.”


The teen activist also spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January. Honored and very grateful for this nomination, Thunberg tweeted early Thursday morning, after she received the nomination. In addition to Øvstegård, Norwegian lawmakers Mona Fagerås and Lars Haltbrekken had also nominated the teen activist for the Nobel Prize, considering the work she's done towards the earth.


“I think we have reached a tipping point where enough scientists are telling it like it is and not being so afraid of being alarmist,” Thunberg told New Scientist on Wednesday, while she also added it’s been frustrating that many people are paying more attention to her age than the issue at hand. “They talk about our age, our looks and so on,” she continued. “The emissions are still rising and that is all that matters. Nothing has happened, that is crucial to remember,” she added. 


In the U.K. alone, more than 10,000 students went on a strike in February, near London’s Parliament Square. Sophie Sleeman, a 17-year-old at Exeter College, U.K., says part of the power of the strikes is that teenagers are now fighting for something adults should have done a long time ago. Instead of being told off, they're now turning the spotlight on parents, teachers, and politicians.  I feel like it’s making adults a bit guilty,” she said.


Sophie claims she and the others are driven by a desire to do more than just raise awareness, they're now demanding action. “The focus of these protests is ‘do something’,” says Brian Doherty of Keele University, U.K, who has studied the history of environmental activism. He claims the school strikes are a bit different from previous climate campaigning, which focused around summits and their build-up.


“My sense is the bad news was quite a significant catalyst and that begins to explain why you get this type of protest,” says Doherty. Social media has a wide reach and accurate use of it has managed to spread the word far and wide. “Children have this capacity to say things adults don’t, we see this in [the tale of] The Emperor’s New Clothes. This is what’s happening here,” says Graeme Hayes of Aston University, U.K.


“I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is, ” Thunberg wrote in an essay for The Guardian in January. Malala Yousafzai was the youngest Nobel laureate in 2014, at the age of 17. Malala, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” according to the Nobel website


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