OSLO – Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl climate campaigner who has inspired worldwide protests, should be awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Norwegian lawmakers said Thursday.
“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” Norwegian Socialist Left MP Freddy Andre Ovstegard told AFP.
“Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace,” he added.
Six months ago no one knew who Thunberg was when, as a 15-year-old, she camped outside Sweden’s parliament next to a hand-written sign: “SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE.”
Since then she has gone global, striking a chord with younger people disillusioned by the slow progress of the adult world in halting climate change.
Three MPs for the opposition Socialist Left nominated Thunberg for the prize before the 31 January deadline, Ovstegard said, meaning her nomination is valid for the 2019 prize which will be announced on 11 October.
“It’s obviously a great honour and nice to be nominated for such a big prize,” she told Swedish daily Aftonbladet. “It feels unreal, and a little strange.”
“We are only seeing the beginning,” Thunberg, now 16, tweeted recently.
“I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future.”
According to the Nobel Institute, 304 individuals and organisations have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
The list of nominees is kept secret for at least 50 years, in line with the Nobel Foundation’s statutes.
Thousands of people, including lawmakers and cabinet members from around the world, former laureates and some university professors, are entitled to nominate people for the prize.