Stockholm: Saying that the climate movement needed people in power to start to “listen” to “science” and not awards, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday refused to accept an environmental award. The 16-year-old climate activist, was honoured at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation.
A representative for the her, reportedly told the audience she would not be accepting the award and prize money of about $52,000. Thunberg, in an Instagram post, confirmed her decision to decline it because “the climate movement does not need any more awards.”
Thunberg said it was a great honor to be recognized, but also criticised Nordic countries for not living up to their “great reputation” on climate issues. She said there is a large gap between what science says is necessary and the politics that run the Nordic countries, and she sees no signs of the changes required.
View this post on Instagram
I have received the Nordic Council’s environmental award 2019. I have decided to decline this prize. Here’s why: “I am currently traveling through California and therefore not able to be present with you today. 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. What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science. The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues. 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 – if we include our consumption, our imports as well as aviation and shipping – then it’s a whole other story. In Sweden we live as if we had about 4 planets according to WWF and Global Footprint Network. And roughly the same goes for the entire Nordic region. In Norway for instance, the government recently gave a record number of permits to look for new oil and gas. The newly opened oil and natural gas-field, ”Johan Sverdrup” is expected to produce oil and natural gas for 50 years; oil and gas that would generate global CO2 emissions of 1,3 tonnes. The gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 1,5 or even 2 degrees – and politics that run the Nordic countries is gigantic. And there are still no signs whatsoever of the changes required. The Paris Agreement, which all of the Nordic countries have signed, is based on the aspect of equity, which means that richer countries must lead the way. We belong to the countries that have the possibility to do the most. And yet our countries still basically do nothing. So until you start to act in accordance with what the science says is needed to limit the global temperature rise below 1,5 degrees or even 2 degrees celsius, I – and Fridays For Future in Sweden – choose not to accept the Nordic Councils environmental award nor the prize money of 500 000 Swedish kronor. Best wishes Greta Thunberg”
“Until you start to act in accordance with what the science says is needed to limit the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees or even 2 degrees celsius, I — and Fridays For Future in Sweden — choose not to accept the Nordic Councils environmental award nor the prize money of 500,000 Swedish kronor,” she wrote.
The theme for this year’s Nordic Council Environment Prize was “initiatives that promote sustainable consumption and production by doing more with less.” The council said Greta won the award ”for breathing new life into the debate surrounding the environment and climate at a critical moment in world history. Furthermore, she has inspired millions of people around the world to demand concrete action from our politicians.”
Recently, in an emotional and powerful speech at the United Nations during the Climate Action Summit, Thunberg exhorted to world leaders to stop the effects of climate change.
Greta is currently traveling on the American continent, and plans to attend UN climate negotiations in Chile in December. Thunberg rose to prominence after she started spending her Fridays outside Sweden’s parliament in August 2018, holding a sign reading “School strike for climate”.