Greta Thunberg wins 'alternative Nobel Prize'
© Aaron Schwartz

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was announced as one of four winners of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, dubbed Sweden's alternative to the Nobel Prize.

Thunberg was named a recipient of the award “for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts,” the Right Livelihood Foundation said in a statement, according to Reuters.


The announcement that Thunberg won the prize comes after she gave an impassioned plea to world leaders this week at the United Nations General Assembly where she urged them to take immediate action on climate change.

The 16-year-old activist first gained international attention after she organized and led weekly protests outside Sweden’s Parliament last year.

Her small protests grew and inspired millions across the globe to join in their own demonstrations. Last week alone, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities around the world to demand action from world governments on climate change.

“I’m deeply grateful for being one of the recipients of this great honor,” Thunberg said from New York, according to The Guardian. “But of course, 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.”

Along with Thunberg, recipients of the award include Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa, Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei and Western Sahara human rights defender Aminatou Haidar. Each winner will receive 1 million Swedish crowns, roughly equal to $103,000.

“With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honour 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,” the foundation said in the statement to Reuters.

The four winners will receive their prizes during a ceremony in Stockholm in December.