Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021

Greta Thunberg REFUSES to accept £40,000 environmental award

Greta Thunberg REFUSES to accept £40,000 environmental award, saying: ‘The climate movement does not need awards… we need politicians to listen to science’

  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg refused an environmental prize in Stockholm
  • Teenager is currently in California and was handed honour by the Nordic Council
  • But she rejected the £40,000 award and posted about the decision on Instagram
  • She said climate movement needed people to ‘listen’ to ‘science’ and not awards

Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg speaking at a rally hosted by Sustainabiliteens at the Vancouver Art Gallery last week

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has refused to accept a £40,000 environmental prize, saying the climate movement needed people in power to start to ‘listen’ to ‘science’ and not awards. 

The 16-year-old, who is currently touring California, was honoured by the Nordic Council in her absence at a ceremony in Stockholm.   

Thunberg had been nominated for her efforts by both Sweden and Norway and won the organisation’s annual environment prize.

But after it was announced, a representative for her told the audience that she would not accept the award or the prize sum of 350,000 Danish kroner (about $52,000 or 46,800 euro), the TT news agency reported.

She addressed the decision in a post on Instagram from the United States.

‘The climate movement does not need any more awards,’ she wrote.

‘What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science.’

While thanking the Nordic Council for the ‘huge honour,’ she also criticised Nordic countries for not living up to their ‘great reputation’ on climate 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… then it’s a whole other story,’ Thunberg said.

Greta Thunberg speaking at the start of the 2019 Climate Action Summit in September at the UN headquaters in New York where she lambasted world leaders over inaction on climate change

Thunberg posted about the rejection of the Nordic Council’s award on Instagram, in which she criticised her home country’s response to climate change 

She went on to criticise Nordic nations’ record on cutting harmful emissions. 

She wrote: ‘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.

‘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.’

Thunberg can be seen (centre) marching during a climate rally in Vancouver last Friday

Still only 16 years old, 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’.

Thunberg was in Vancouver, British Columbia, last Friday, taking part in climate protests, the same day as London’s Natural History Museum said that it had named a minute species of beetle after her. 

Last week she also slammed Facebook for not curbing ‘constant lies and conspiracy theories’ after being targeted by ‘death threats and ultimately violence’.

In a post on the social media platform she questioned whether she should continue to use Facebook.

The campaigner’s book, No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, which is a collection of her speeches, is up for the book of the year prize, up against Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. 

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