Incredibly Effective Teen has been Raising Issues and Confronting Power across the Globe
Jens Holm and Hankins Svenneling, two Swedish lawmakers, have nominated Greta Thunberg for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. The two nominators chose Thunberg because of the international awareness she has raised about the climate crisis and the peace she has created by pressuring countries to lower emissions and stand by the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
The Nobel Peace Prize is a Scandinavian-based award that annually recognizes a single individual for his or her accomplishments or commitments towards bringing nations together and nullifying global violence. Started in 1901, the tradition has lasted nearly 120 years. Any international lawmaker can nominate someone for the Peace Prize and the five-person Norwegian Nobel Committee decides the winner. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes alongside the Literature, Physics, Physiology/Medicine and Chemistry Prizes.
At just seventeen years old, Greta Thunberg is one of the youngest people to ever get nominated for the prestigious award. Three Norwegian lawmakers also nominated her for the last year’s Prize, but she did not end up winning. Usually the award is given to a politician or a member of an international organization (or the organization itself). Thunberg, however, is far from a politician and acts more-or-less independently in her mission.
Thunberg dropped out of school at age fifteen to protest climate inaction outside of the Swedish parliament building. She has since inspired many other young people to follow in her footsteps and produce additional school strikes in the name of environmental activism.
No Nonsense or Self-Aggrandizement Needed
Over the span of just a couple years, Greta’s message has spread around the planet, and she herself has also traveled far and wide, meeting with world leaders and influencing them to prioritize fighting the climate crisis with progressive policy. She spoke at the 2019 U.N. Climate Summit in Madrid and has the endorsement of many international figures.
Collaterally, Greta has garnered a quasi-celebrity reputation. However, she is far from hedonistically seeking attention or hollow gratification for her movement. Focused on tangible results, Thunberg renounces symbolic gestures and has even turned down several awards. Her bitingly direct rhetoric used at public events is a testament to this.
All the same, though, a Nobel Peace Prize is the prime filet of social justice recognitions. The title has gone to the likes of Barak Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, and esteemed institutions such as the EU and the Red Cross. By acknowledging the nomination alone, Thunberg could greatly benefit her cause, raising greater awareness political momentum than before. At the same time, the concept of receiving any award runs contrary to Greta’s “less-talk-and-more-action” agenda.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee choses the annual winner in November, and he or she receives the Prize at a ceremony in December. Nominations were due on the first of February, but not all submissions become public knowledge. Thus, there could be more than just two votes for Thunberg.
As of this writing, Thunberg herself has not commented on her nomination.
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