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Greta Thunberg Declines Environmental Reward Worth $52,000

We need more action and less awards, she said.

  • Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has been bestowed the environmental award by the Nordic Council.
  • While she accepted the award, she declined the cash reward worth US $52,000.

Ever since her landmark speech at the United Nations Climate Summit, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has become a household name across the globe. And although people have mixed reactions about her sharp message, there also isn’t any doubt that some organizations are recognizing her brilliance.

Case in point, the young climate activist was recently given the 2019 environmental award by the Nordic Council, an organization composed of Nordic countries. While she did receive the award, she made headlines after declining the prize money worth 350,000 Danish kroner (around US$52,000).

So, thanks but no thanks?

In an Instagram post, Thunberg said that while she considers the award a “huge honor,” we don’t really need more of these awards.

She wrote:

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

She also went on to bash the organization, pointing out that while they boast about their “great reputation” on climate issues, “our actual emissions and our ecological footprints per capita” are still pretty disturbing.

There is still much to be done, according to the teen.

For example, she mentioned that people in Sweden are still living “as if we had about 4 planets, according to WWF and Global Footprint Network.” The same can also be said for almost the whole Nordic region, the young activist continued.

Read Greta Thunberg’s entire post here:
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 billion 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

As always, the teen’s straightforwardness attracted a lot of comments from netizens.

One commenter wrote and praised Thunberg for “sticking to (her) principles when offered money” while another suggested that she should’ve accepted the cash and just donated it to an environmental movement.

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