Copenhagen, March 14: Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist who is a prominent voice in the fight against climate change, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
Three Norwegian lawmakers put forward the 16-year-old activist, who was named one of TIME’s Most Influential Teens of 2019, for the prize.
“We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict,” parliamentary representative Freddy Andre Oevstegaard told Norwegian media outlet VG.
“The massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution,” he added.
Thunberg’s Nobel Prize nomination comes days before the global climate strike on Friday 15 March, which is inspired by her #FridaysForFuture students’ movement, to demand action to prevent further climate change and global warming.
A recent U.N. report stated that global temperatures could rise by 1.5°C – a threshold scientists believe the planet cannot surpass without experiencing damaging effects of climate change.
The report explained that temperatures have already risen 1°C and the planet could reach the 1.5°C threshold as early as 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate.
In August 2018, Thunberg started to skip school on Fridays to protest about climate change outside Sweden’s Parliament with a hand-written sign that read “SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE”. The teenager did not return to school until the Swedish general election on 9 September.
Since her first strike, Thunberg has become renowned around the world for her activism.
In December 2018, the student delivered an impassioned speech at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland and called out governmental officials for not doing enough to halt climate change.
“You are not mature enough to tell it like is,” she said at the COP24 summit.
“Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.”
A month later, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Thunberg concluded her speech by urging leader present at the event to “behave like our house is on fire because it is.”
During her speech, she told attendees, which included singer Bono and anthropologist Jane Goodall: “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”
The deadline for Nobel Peace Prize nominations was 1 February.
According to the organisation’s website, there are 301 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 out of which 223 are individuals and 78 are organisations.
The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony will take place on 10 December in Oslo, Norway, where the Nobel Laureates receive their Nobel Prize.
To date, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when she received the 2014 Peace Prize. (Agencies)