Climate Activist Greta Thunberg rejects Nordic Council environmental award

On Tues, Aug 29, Greta Thunberg—a Swedish climate activist turned down a prestigious environmental honor, the 2019 Nordic Council Environment award.

The award, which was founded in 1995, comes with a cash prize of 350,000 Swedish Kronor, or about $52,ooo, according to the Nordic Co-operation. 

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Greta Thunberg as one of the nominations | Photo courtesy of EKOenergy

Thunberg was nominated by Sweden and Norway with the jury from the Council justifying Thunberg’s win, according to the Nordic Co-operation.

“The 2019 Nordic Council Environment Prize goes to Greta Thunberg for breathing new life into the debate surrounding the environment and climate at a critical moment in world history,” the jury states, “Furthermore, she has inspired millions of people around the world to demand concrete action from our politicians.”

Thunberg took her explanation to Instagram on why she declined the award, stating, “the climate movement does not need any more awards.”

The teen also called on Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden to take more climate action. 

“The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues,” Thunberg wrote on Instagram, “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.”

Thunberg also declares that she would not accept the award until the Nordic countries take action to change the world, stating that there is a large gap between what science says is necessary and the governments that run the Nordic countries. 

“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,” Thunberg wrote. 

The President of the Nordic Council, Hans Wallmark, said it respected her decision and the reasons behind it, according to the New York Post. 

“The movement that Greta is spearheading is influencing and inspiring an entire generation. This is worthy of respect,” Wallmark said in a statement, saying the council would “Think carefully about what to do with the prize money.” 

Written by Cameron Yeoh

Junior Cameron Yeoh is a staff writer for the MCsun - making the sun shine! In her free time, Cameron likes to visit the Wizarding World to have tea with Rubeus Hagrid, and occasionally ride on Witherwings (formerly known as Buckbeak) in the evening to witness the glistening golden sun disappear in the trees of the Forbidden Forest.

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