Greta Thunberg has declined an environmental award from the Nordic Council. Worth an estimated $52,000, Thunberg said she favors science over awards.

The outspoken activist responded to the award on October 29. Writing the statement on her Instagram, Thunberg said “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 (to) start to listen to the current, best available science.”


Thunberg has inspired millions around the globe to march for and talk about climate change. Thunberg gained a following and spend the fall of 2019 speaking in Washington, DC and at the UN Climate Summit. According to her Twitter, Thunberg continues her #ClimateStrike each Friday. At the time of the award, she was in California. The #FridaysForFuture movement urges students to protest climate change in place of school each Friday.

Two climate activists spoke on her behalf at the award ceremony in Stockholm. The Nordic Council is an inter-parliamentary group. The group gives out awards each year in literature, science, film, music and the environment.

Thunberg has been nominated for and won other awards. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and declined the Children’s Climate Prize in 2018. In 2019, Thunberg won the award known as the “Alternative Nobel,” the Right Livelihood Award.

Read Thunberg’s statement on her Instagram


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


Read more about climate activism on One Green Planet, including Greta Thunberg and Other Prominent Young Activists Sue 5 Nations Over Climate Crisis and To Fight For Their Right to Life, Alaskan Kids Take Climate Change to the Supreme Court.

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