16-Year-Old Environmental Activist Nominated for Nobel Prize

Updated April 14, 2019. Greta Thunberg — the vegan teenage Swedish activist who has led thousands of students to protest against climate change in the last few months — has received a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize.

According to the Nobel Prize website, nominees and nominators cannot usually be published until 50 years have passed. In this case, Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy Andre Ovstegard revealed himself as one of the three Norwegian MPs who nominated Thunberg.

He told the AFP (Agence France Presse) news agency, “we have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees.

He added, “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”

The 16-year old recently made headlines for her speech at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland, where she urged members to consider their impact on the planet for the sake of their children’s future.

She said, “you say you love your children above all else, and yet you’re stealing their future in front of their very eyes.” She added, “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 not only convinced her family to adopt a vegan diet and stop flying after she learned about the environmental impact of transportation and the meat and dairy industries, but she has also staged a one-woman protest outside the Swedish government building.

Every Friday since summer 2018 she has missed classes to sit outside the building with a sign that reads “skolstreyk for klimatet” (school strike for climate).

The movement has since gone global, with school children from around the world following Thunberg’s example and leaving school on Fridays to stage protests outside government buildings. AFP reported that “ambitious organisers of the global student strike hoped to stage 1,000 demos in more than 100 countries.”

If Thunberg wins the prize, she will become the youngest ever winner. Malala Yousafzai won the prize in 2014, when she was 17-years old, “for [her] struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Thunberg gave a speech at the recent Goldene Kamera award ceremony in Germany.

“We live in a strange world, where children must sacrifice their education in order to protest against the destruction of their future.” You can watch the full speech here.