Cli­mate ac­tivist Thun­berg wins ‘al­ter­na­tive No­bel prize’

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

STOCK­HOLM (dpa) — Swedish teen cli­mate ac­tivist Greta Thun­berg has been named as one of four win­ners of an award of­ten called “the al­ter­na­tive No­bel prize.”

Thun­berg was lauded “for in­spir­ing and am­pli­fy­ing po­lit­i­cal de­mands for ur­gent cli­mate ac­tion re­flect­ing sci­en­tific facts,” the Stock­holm-based Right Liveli­hood Award Foun­da­tion said.

In Au­gust 2018, the 16-year-old be­gan a “school strike” out­side the Swedish par­lia­ment that in­spired a youth-led move­ment that has staged cli­mate strikes across the globe un­der the slo­gan Fri­days for Fu­ture.

On Mon­day, Thun­berg gave a speech at a U.N. Cli­mate Ac­tion Sum­mit in New York urg­ing world lead­ers to act to mit­gate cli­mate change. “If you choose to fail us, we will never for­give you,” she said.

Com­ment­ing the award, Thun­berg said: “It is not me who is the win­ner. I am part of a global move­ment of school chil­dren, youth and adults of all ages who have de­cided to act in de­fense of our liv­ing planet. I share this award with them.”

Thun­berg was named along with a hu­man rights ac­tivist from the Western Sa­hara re­gion, a lawyer from China, and a leader and as­so­ci­a­tion that work for the rights of Brazil’s in­dige­nous Yanomami peo­ple.

“With the 2019 Right Liveli­hood Award, we honor four prac­ti­cal vi­sion­ar­ies whose lead­er­ship has em­pow­ered mil­lions of peo­ple to de­fend their in­alien­able rights and to strive for a live­able fu­ture for all on planet Earth,” foun­da­tion direc­tor Ole von Uexkull said.

He added that “Thun­berg is the pow­er­ful voice [of] a young gen­er­a­tion that will have to bear the con­se­quences of to­day’s po­lit­i­cal fail­ure to stop cli­mate change.”

Ami­na­tou Haidar is the first win­ner from Western Sa­hara, the dis­puted ter­ri­tory claimed by Morocco since 1975.

Haidar has for over 30 years peace­fully cam­paigned for Western Sa­hara’s in­de­pen­dence. The jury cited “her stead­fast non-vi­o­lent ac­tion, de­spite im­pris­on­ment and tor­ture, in pur­suit of jus­tice and self-de­ter­mi­na­tion for the peo­ple of Western Sa­hara.”

Haidar said the award was “a recog­ni­tion of my non-vi­o­lent strug­gle and the just cause of the Sahrawi peo­ple.”

Guo Jian­mei, a lawyer from China, was lauded for “her pi­o­neer­ing and per­sis­tent work in se­cur­ing women’s rights in China.”

Guo has helped thou­sands of dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple and women get ac­cess to jus­tice. She has used the law to pro­tect their rights as well as set­ting up le­gal net­works of­fer­ing le­gal ad­vice free of charge, the award foun­da­tion said.

“This award rec­og­nizes and ac­knowl­edges the ef­forts of my team and me to up­hold women’s rights and pro­mote democ­racy and the rule of law in China, un­der dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances for the past 25 years,” she said.


Swedish cli­mate ac­tivist Greta Thun­berg speaks dur­ing a Blue Lead­ers break­fast brief­ing fo­cused on the re­lease of and In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change Spe­cial Re­port on the Ocean and Cryosphere In a Chang­ing Cli­mate in New York, Wed­nes­day. Thun­berg is among four peo­ple named as the win­ners of a Right Liveli­hood Award, also known as the “Al­ter­na­tive No­bel.”

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