Teen climate activist turns down $50,000 prize

Greta Thunberg says the climate movement does not need any more awards

News Desk November 01, 2019
The 16-year-old Greta has mobilised millions of youths since starting her "School Strike for the Climate" alone outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018. (Photo: AFP)

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg has said that "the climate movement does not need any more prizes" while refusing to accept an environmental award and the accompanying prize money of 350,000 Danish kroner (USD52,000) offered by the inter-parliamentary body of Nordic Countries, the Nordic Council.

The 16-year-old said the offer was a "great honour" and thanked the Nordic Council, which said it respected her decision.

The activist said she did not want any recognition for shedding light on the climate movement, asking the leaders of the world and those in power to 'listen' to science, not awards.

Thunberg explained her refusal in an Instagram post, stating: "The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues." But, she said, Nordic energy consumption told "a whole other story".


"We belong to the countries that have the possibility to do the most. And yet our countries still basically do nothing," she added.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg wins 'alternative Nobel Prize'


This isn't the first time that the teenager, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, has been recognised for inspiring teenagers around the world to come to the frontlines in the battle against climate change.

She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by three Norwegian lawmakers, and she also featured on the May 2019 cover issue of Time magazine, which named her a "next generation leader".

Later, in September this year, Thunberg was named as one of four winners of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, known as Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize.

Thunberg won the award "for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts," said a statement issued by the Right Livelihood Foundation.


While an inspiration to teenagers and adult alike, Thunberg's in-your-face activism has ruffled quite a few feathers -particularly those belonging to world leaders.

After delivering an emotive speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit and condemning world leaders for failing to take strong measures to combat climate change, Thunberg faced mockery from two of the strongest leaders of the world: US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

While Trump mocked the teenager in a sarcastic tweet; Putin said she knew little about the workings of the world and was poorly informed.

"She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!" tweeted Trump.

“I’m sure that Greta is a very kind and sincere girl,” he said but suggested that she had been poorly informed about the workings of the world.

“No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and changes fast... people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden.


Thunberg first responded to US President Donald Trump’s mocking of her online by embracing his words on her Twitter page.

The activist changed her twitter biography to: "A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."

Photo: Twitter Photo: Twitter

She had an equally sassy response for the Russian strongman's jibe that she was clueless about modern world's complexities, changing her Twitter bio to: "A kind but poorly informed teenager".

Photo: Twitter Photo: Twitter



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