Greta Thunberg wins ‘alternative Nobel Prize’

Teenager is awarded £82,000 for ‘inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action’

Zamira Rahim
Wednesday 25 September 2019 16:05
Comments
Greta Thunberg tells world leaders: 'You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words'

Greta Thunberg has won Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize – the Right Livelihood Award – for her climate activism.

The 16-year-old was recognised “for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts”.

She shares this year’s award with Davi Kopenawa, a Brazilian indigenous leader, who has fought to protect the Amazon rainforest, Guo Jianmei, a Chinese women’s rights lawyer and Aminatou Haidar, a Western Sahara human rights defender.

“With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honour four practical visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights and to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth,” a foundation spokesperson said.

Each winner will receive one million Swedish crowns (£82,700).

On Monday, after travelling by boat to the UN climate summit in New York, she opened the event with an impassioned speech in which she condemned the world leaders assembled before her.

“This is all wrong,” she began. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean.

“Yet, you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

The climate activist added: “People are suffering. People are dying.

“And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”

Ms Thunberg gained global attention after beginning a solitary climate protest outside the Swedish parliament a year ago.

She has inspired activists around the world, especially youngsters, to protest against the failure of governments to combat climate change.

On Friday, millions of young people took to the streets to demand that leaders attending the summit take emergency action on the issue.

Ms Thunberg has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Swedish and Norwegian lawmakers.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in