The Swedish climate activist, who has inspired an entire generation of young people with her ‘Fridays for Future’ movement, was honoured by the Nordic Council – an official body for formal interparliamentary cooperation.
After the nomination was announced, a representative for Greta told the audience she would not accept the award or the prize sum of 350,000 Danish kroner (approximately £40,000 or $52,000).
Greta confirmed this in a social media post after her nomination, thanking the Nordic Council for honouring her before going on to criticise Nordic countries for not living up to their ‘great reputation’ on climate issues.
The climate activist wrote:
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.
She went on to describe the gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature and the politics that run the Nordic countries as ‘gigantic’, adding ‘there are still no signs whatsoever of the changes required’.
Describing these countries as having ‘the possibility to do the most’, Greta expressed her disappointment that ‘our countries still basically do nothing’.
She finished by stating:
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 of 500 000 Swedish kronor.
Greta’s nomination comes just over a month after the young climate activist stunned the world with a powerful speech at the United Nations Climate Summit about the climate emergency we are facing.
Greta told delegates:
This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you have come to us young people for hope. How dare you.
People are suffering. People are dying and dying ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.
For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
What an incredible young woman.