The 16-year-old teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has been awarded with the ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ award by worldwide human rights organisation, Amnesty International. She is the first such teenager to start such a movement when she protested outside the Swedish Parliament last year. Other people who have received this award are Malala Yousafzai, Alecia Keys, and Nelson Mandela. Greta’s protest outside the Swedish Parliament inspired many students from all around the world. Tens of thousands of students from UK, Germany, Japan and Australia, came in support for her #FridaysForFuture Demonstrations. In this, young people strike on Fridays to raise awareness about climate change.
“Being different is a gift,” she told the BBC, “It makes me see things from outside the box. I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things. If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.” Four years ago, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s, which is a form of Autism. Post being honoured with the award, she said that it was a huge honour to receive the award and that she shares it with everyone who had protested in the name of Fridays for future.
“Being different is a gift, it makes me see things from outside the box. I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things. If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”
Has also been nominated for the Nobel Prize
Thunberg has spoken at various climate rallies in Stockholm, Helsinki, Brussels, and London. Greta developed a special interest in climate activism when she was nine and was studying in the third grade. The 16-year-old has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by three Norwegian lawmakers. There are 301 candidates for the 2019 prize: 223 individuals and 78 organisations. National politicians, international officials, academics and previous winners are among those who can nominate potential recipients. “They were always talking about how we should turn off lights, save water, not throw out food. I asked why and they explained about climate change. And I thought this was very strange. If humans could really change the climate, everyone would be talking about it and people wouldn’t be talking about anything else. But this wasn’t happening,” she told The New Yorker.
Her message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The 16-year-old also has a message for our Prime Minister. Thunberg said, “Dear Mr Modi, you need to take action now against the climate crisis, not just talking about it because if you keep going on like this, doing business as usual, and just talking about and bragging about the little victories, you are going to fail. And if you fail, you are going to be seen as one of the worst villains in human history in the future. And you don’t want that.”
Thunberg has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes to press political leaders to work towards reversing effects of climate change.
Thunberg has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes to press political leaders to work towards reversing effects of climate change. At an EU conference on Feb 21, Thunberg warned that politicians who fail to tackle climate change will be “remembered as the greatest villains of all time” for leading the world to disaster. She urged the European Union to double its ambition for greenhouse gas cuts. The 16-year-old said protesting students were asking politicians to “unite behind the science” after having had ignored its warnings about climate change for decades. She also said, “We are school striking because we have done our homework.”