COPENHAGEN – Young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, a prominent voice in the fight against climate change, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year by a group of Norwegian socialist deputies.
Norwegian deputy Andre Ovstegard, aged 24, told the online edition of the “VG” newspaper on Wednesday that he and two other parliamentarians of the Socialist Left Party have nominated the 16-year-old Swedish woman because “climate threats are perhaps one of the most important contributions to war and conflict,” and “the mass movement that she has promoted is a very important contribution to peace.”
Thunberg began to strike and not go to school every Friday last summer, and instead protested in front of the Swedish Parliament to demand more effective measures against climate change.
After her speeches at the UN climate change conference in Poland and at the Davos forum, she became an example for many young people all over the world, who since have promoted similar initiatives.
The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Thunberg would be an acknowledgment that climate action and commitment to peace go hand in hand and would be a boost to these popular movements, the promoters of her nomination argued.
Pakistani Malala Yousafzai in 2014 became the youngest winner of the prize, at the age of 17.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has 304 candidates, of which 219 are individuals and 85 organizations, the Norwegian Nobel Committee reported last month.
According to the testament of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish magnate who instituted the awards, people who can nominate someone for the Peace Prize are university professors in Law, History and Political Sciences, parliamentarians, former laureates and members of international courts, among others.
Only those who nominate can make the identity of the candidates public, since the Norwegian Nobel Committee only publishes the total number of applicants and does not confirm names until 50 years later.
The Nobel prizes are awarded each year on Dec. 10, coinciding with the anniversary of the death of its founder, in a double ceremony: at the Oslo City Hall in Norway, for the Peace Prize, and in the Konserthus in Stockholm, Sweden, for the others five awards.
The Nobel Peace Prize last year went to Congolese Denis Mukwege and Iraqi Nadia Murad for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict,” according to the Nobel Committee’s ruling.