OSLO (Reuters) – Swedish teen Greta Thunberg’s shaming of world leaders and air tourists over environment modification has won her countless admirers and brought in lots of new fans to her cause.

However it simply might cost her the Nobel Peace Reward.

Thunberg, among few individuals whose nomination has ended up being known prior to the awards event, is the bookmakers’ preferred to win the reward next month.

At 16, she would be the youngest recipient of the $930,000 award won by the similarity Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev. She would be the first to win the prize for environmental work because previous U.S. vice president Al Gore shared it in 2007 for raising awareness of environment change.

However Thunberg’s youth, outspokenness and confrontational technique – the very elements that have actually made her the worldwide face of climate modification advocacy – present challenging questions for the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Her shaming of those who choose to travel by aircraft – #flightshame– raises hackles amongst some individuals. The denunciations of world leaders by a teenager pushes away others.

While liberals see her as courageous for informing the fact about environment modification, right-wing critics portray her as a liar or hypocrite, recommend her parents have controlled her or depict her as the ringleader of a socialist conspiracy.

” It’s been a while (because Gore was awarded the reward in 2007) … so that would enhance her possibilities,” Sverre Lodgaard, a deputy member of the award committee from 2003 to 2011, told Reuters.

” The issue is that the concept of ‘flight embarassment’ brings her chances … down. Shame is not a positive feeling to produce change.”

Thunberg, who does not typically take media demands directly, did not instantly react to requests for remark made through her daddy, Svante Thunberg, and to an e-mail account established to deal with media questions.

Greta Thunberg has actually countered at her critics, denying she is spent for her activism or is being “utilized” by anyone.

She wrote on Facebook in February that “there is no one ‘behind’ me other than for myself. My moms and dads were as far from climate activists as possible before I made them knowledgeable about the circumstance.”


Thunberg increased to worldwide prominence last year by requiring time off school to demonstrate outside Swedish parliament about the absence of action to fight climate change. Inspired by her weekly protest, millions of youths protested around the globe last Friday to put pressure on governments to act.

This week, after sailing to New York in a zero-carbon emissions vessel, she implicated leaders at the U.N. climate top of taking her dreams and youth with empty words on environment change.

” How dare you?” she asked.

Her remarks did not decrease well with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate science and has actually challenged every major U.S. policy targeted at combating climate modification.

FILE PHOTO: Swedish activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a youth climate modification protest in front of the United Nations Head Office in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., August 30,2019 REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Retweeting video footage of her speech, he mocked Thunberg by saying: “She looks like a really delighted young woman eagerly anticipating an intense and fantastic future. So great to see!”

Thunberg responded by altering her Twitter biography to: “A very pleased young woman anticipating an intense and terrific future.”

Trump likewise recommended he ought to get the Nobel Peace Prize himself “for a lot of things if they gave it out fairly, which they do not.”

With Nobel Prize winners undoubtedly thrust into the spotlight, the committee will think about Thunberg’s age and how a teen would handle a lot more intense public analysis than she is currently under, Lodgaard said.

5 years back, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai won the award at the age of 17, however her candidacy was less dissentious than Thunberg’s.

” It is a significant burden to provide a Nobel to a teenager,” said Asle Sveen, author of numerous books about the reward.

Even so, he and Lodgaard say Thunberg still has an opportunity of winning.

The award committee might opt to minimize the weight of expectation on Thunberg by sharing the prize between her and somebody else, or merely choose her behavior has shown she is fully grown beyond her years, they stated.

” They would have seen and heard her and she would have stumbled upon as thoughtful and effective. She might be a great candidate,” Lodgaard said.


Likewise potentially counting versus Thunberg is a debate in academic circles about whether environmental advocacy counts towards peace, as specified in Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel’s will, despite the fact that Gore shared his award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

” The argument ‘for’ is that the science reveals we are experiencing a significant change of environment and we could have extreme conditions, with consequences in terms of war and refugees,” Sveen stated.

” The argument ‘against’ would be: does a prize to the environment fall outside the limits of Nobel’s will? This was an argument utilized when Al Gore and the IPCC won in 2007.”

Apart from Thunberg, other leading possible contenders for the award include Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for the reconciliation he created in 2018 with Eritrea.

The neighbors combated a war that eliminated more than 70,000 people from 1998 to 2000 and stopped working to implement a 2000 peace offer. Likewise counting in Abiy’s favor is his lifting of restrictions versus opposition parties, said Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo.

Abiy, who took office in April 2018, is pushing Ethiopia towards brand-new democratic freedoms, though rights groups state more requirements to be done to heal injuries after years of federal government repression.

Reporters Without Borders, or the Committee to Protect Reporters, groups that campaign for flexibility of the press, might likewise be acknowledged.

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” There is really distinctly a case for this in the age of fake news,” said Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Pope Francis, the United Nations Refugee Company and its head, Filippo Grandi, are likewise mentioned among possible competitors for the cost in acknowledgment of their work towards refugees and as a way to highlight the right to asylum, under pressure in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

Extra reporting by Maggie Fick in Nairobi, Modifying by Timothy Heritage

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Marco Bitran
Husband and father of two children under age 5, Marco also enjoys walks in nature, squash, running road races, and photography. He regularly contributes significant time and resources to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the MSPCA and other animal rights organizations, and the Bitran Charitable Foundation. Marco has also volunteered and consulted for public housing support organizations such as the Somerville Homeless Coalition, created by the local community’s grassroots response to the social crisis of homelessness.