Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday refused to accept an environmental award, saying the climate movement needed people in power to start to “listen” to “science” and not awards.
The young climate activist, who has rallied millions to her “Fridays for Future” movement, was honoured at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation.
Thunberg had been nominated for her efforts by both Sweden and Norway and won the organisation’s annual environment prize.
But after it was announced, a representative for her told the audience that she would not accept the award or the prize sum of 350,000 Danish kroner (about USD 52,000 or 46,800 euro), the TT news agency reported.
She addressed the decision in a post on Instagram from the United States.
“The climate movement does not need any more awards,” she wrote.
“What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science.” While thanking the Nordic Council for the “huge honour,” she also criticised Nordic countries for not living up to their “great reputation” on climate 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,” Thunberg said.
Still only 16 years old, Thunberg rose to prominence after she started spending her Fridays outside Sweden’s parliament in August 2018, holding a sign reading “School strike for climate”.