Greta Thunberg turns down top environmental honor: 'The climate doesn't need awards'

Greta Thunberg turns down top environmental honor: 'The climate doesn't need awards'
© Aaron Schwartz

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has declined to accept the top environmental award from the Nordic Council, a regional body for interparliamentary cooperation.

Thunberg turned down the honor, saying "the climate movement does not need any more prizes,” according to NBC News.


Two fellow climate activists on Tuesday spoke on Thunberg's behalf at an award ceremony in Stockholm, with Sofia and Isabella Axelsson quoting Thunberg as saying that "what we need is for our rulers and politicians to listen to the research."

Thunberg, who has risen to international prominence for her role in staging global climate protests, was nominated for her efforts by both Sweden and Norway.

She is currently in California and did not make the trip to Stockholm for the awards ceremony, where she was to be honored and receive the 350,000 Danish kroner, equal to $52,000, that comes with the honor.

Representatives on behalf of Thunberg also said she would not accept the prize money.

Thunberg did thank the Nordic Council for what she called a “huge honour” and pointed to the Nordic countries' “great reputations” globally for being a leading voice on climate and environmental issues but was critical that they have not done more in terms of reducing emissions.

“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,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

The Nordic Council confirmed in a news release Tuesday that Thunberg did not accept the award.

"The prize was presented by Swedish environmental activist Noura Berrouba to Isabelle Axelsson and Sophia Axelsson of Fridays For Future, representing Greta at the awards ceremony which was broadcast live from the Stockholm Concert Hall on Tuesday evening,” the news release stated. “Together they passed on Greta's message, which included the statement that the environment doesn't need any more prizes.”

Thunberg has been visiting cities across North America since late August when she arrived in New York just ahead of a United Nations summit.