Greta Thunberg Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize After Losing Last Year

The 17-year-old climate change activist "has worked hard to make politicians open their eyes to the climate crisis," say the two Swedish lawmakers who nominated her

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg. Photo: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty

Greta Thunberg hasn’t missed the boat on a Nobel Peace Prize.

The 17-year-old climate change activist has been nominated for the prestigious honor by two Swedish lawmakers after losing the award last year, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

In a public show of support for Thunberg — who became the youngest Time Person of the Year ever in 2019 — Jens Holm and Hakan Svenneling of Sweden’s Left Party emphasized how the teenager “has worked hard to make politicians open their eyes to the climate crisis,” saying that “action for reducing our emissions and complying with the Paris Agreement is therefore also an act of making peace,” the AP reported.

Nominations for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize were due on Feb. 1, the AP noted, but a winner will not be announced until this fall.

According to the Nobel Prize organization’s website, “The Committee does not itself announce the names of nominees, neither to the media nor to the candidates themselves. In so far as certain names crop up in the advance speculations as to who will be awarded any given year’s Prize, this is either sheer guesswork or information put out by the person or persons behind the nomination. Information in the Nobel Committee’s nomination database is not made public until after fifty years.”

Thunberg’s big news comes weeks after she lambasted international lawmakers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 21, accusing government leaders of not doing enough to save the planet despite years of consensus among scientists that humans are responsible for worsening climate change and putting future generations at risk.

“Our house is still on fire,” she said at the World Economic Forum, The New York Times reported. “Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour.”

“I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them?” Thunberg asked the audience.

“Let’s be clear. We don’t need a ‘low carbon economy.’ We don’t need to ‘lower emissions,’ ” she continued. “Our emissions have to stop.”

Numerous countries, including the U.S., have made progress in changing some of the underlying environmental dynamics, including curbing carbon emissions. But U.S. President Donald Trump, long a climate change skeptic, said after he took office that the U.S. would leave the Paris climate agreement, insisting it was a “bad deal.”

“We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country or eradicate our liberty,” he said in part in Davos, according to The Washington Post.

Trump, 73, also alluded to Thunberg, calling climate change activists “heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers.”

Time person of the year: Greta Thunberg

This isn’t the first time the American president has taken aim at the teenager: Upon her Time Person of the Year win last year, Trump tweeted, “So ridiculous,” he wrote. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

Though her passionate plea to save the planet had made her a frontrunner in many eyes, Thunberg was not awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in October, leading many on social media to take it upon themselves to recognize all of the good she’s so far inspired.

The coveted award instead went to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, for “his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement at the time.

Still, the Swedish teen’s loss was a surprise for those who’d been convinced she’d receive the honor after becoming a household name since first skipping school and standing alone outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 with a sign reading, “School Strike for Climate.”

Her strike soon went viral, sparking hundreds of similar protests around the world that continue to draw millions of teens and adults in a campaign now called Fridays for Future.

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