Greta Thunberg rejects environmental prize and $50,000 reward because “The climate doesn’t need awards” – Totally Vegan Buzz

Greta Thunberg rejects environmental prize and $50,000 reward because “The climate doesn’t need awards”

Greta Thunberg rejects environmental prize because The climate doesn't need awards
Image: Greta Thunberg / Instagram

Climate activist Greta Thunberg shunned an awards evening and refused a financial reward for an environmental prize, explaining that people need to pay more attention to science and less time on awards. 

The vegan teen was honoured by a ceremony in Stockholm held by the Nordic Council, as both Sweden and Norway had nominated her for an annual environmental prize. 

But Thunberg, who became famous for inspiring millions of students across the world to protest climate change, did not attend the awards. 

Instead a representative told the audience she would not accept the prize or the financial award of 350,000 Danish kroner (about $52,000).

Thunberg then posted on Instagram: “The climate movement does not need any more awards.

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

View this post on Instagram

I have received the Nordic Council’s environmental award 2019. I have decided to decline this prize. Here’s why: “I am currently traveling through California and therefore not able to be present with you today. I want to thank the Nordic Council for this award. It is a huge honour. But the climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science. The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental 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 – if we include our consumption, our imports as well as aviation and shipping – then it’s a whole other story. 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. The newly opened oil and natural gas-field, ”Johan Sverdrup” is expected to produce oil and natural gas for 50 years; oil and gas that would generate global CO2 emissions of 1,3 tonnes. The gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 1,5 or even 2 degrees – and politics that run the Nordic countries is gigantic. And there are still no signs whatsoever of the changes required. The Paris Agreement, which all of the Nordic countries have signed, is based on the aspect of equity, which means that richer countries must lead the way. 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 of 500 000 Swedish kronor. Best wishes Greta Thunberg”

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

She went on to criticise Nordic countries for not living up to their reputation on environmental 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,” she added.

The Greta Effect

The Swedish activist has been in North America since appearing at a UN conference at which she gave a rousing speech demanding action from world leaders over climate change.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said.

“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”

Thunberg is now tipped to win this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

What do you think of Greta’s decision to reject a climate award? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.

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