Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg declined receiving an environmental award, as for her, climate movement needed people in power to listen to best available science, not more awards.
The Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation, recognized Thunberg who gathered millions of people, particularly students, to her “#FridaysForFuture” movement.
The young environmental activist had been nominated by Sweden and Norway and received the organization’s annual environment prize.
However, the TT news agency reported that after the announcement, a representative for Thunberg told the crowd that she would not accept the Nordic Council’s Environmental Award 2019 with the cash prize of 550,000 Danish kroner or about $52,000.
Why did she decline the award?
Thunberg also explained why she decided to decline the award in an Instagram post.
“I am currently traveling through California and therefore not able to be present with you today,” she said at the beginning of her post.
While thanking the Nordic Council for giving this award to her, Thunberg said it is not necessary to give climate movement more awards.
“I want to thank the Nordic Council for this award. It is a huge honour. But the climate movement does not need any more awards,” she said.
“What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science,” Thunberg pointed out.
As she continued, the 16-year-old activist condemned the Nordic countries for not doing what is expected of them with regards to the issues of climate and environment.
“There is no lack of bragging about this. There is no lack of beautiful words. But when it comes to our actual emissions and our ecological footprints per capita… then it’s a whole other story,” she wrote.
At a very young age, Thunberg became known after spending her Fridays at the Swedish parliament for three weeks, protesting against the government’s lack of action on climate change. She posted what she did on her social media platforms and these became viral.
She also rose to popularity following her delivery of a moving speech during the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations on September, saying “world leaders are failing the youth with their empty words.”