Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who dominated headlines last month after her speech to the U.N. declaring that we are “in the beginning of a mass extinction,” was offered an award this week from the Nordic Council for “breathing new life into the debate surrounding the environment and climate at a critical moment in world history.”
But on Tuesday, the 16-year-old told the council that they could keep their climate prize and issued an ultimatum: she will not accept an award from them until they move on from “bragging” and using “beautiful words” to acting “in accordance with what the science says is needed” to combat global warming.
Thunberg issued her official rejection of the award and rebuke of the council via an Instagram post Tuesday. The council has since confirmed that she indeed turned down their prize, which is worth a little over $50,000.
“I have received the Nordic Council’s environmental award 2019. I have decided to decline this prize,” wrote Thunberg. Noting that she’s traveling through California and thus unable to deliver her message in person, the celebrity activist wrote out her rejection speech.
“I want to thank the Nordic Council for this award. It is a huge honour,” she wrote. “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.”
Thunberg then specifically called out the Nordic countries for what she characterized as their self-congratulatory hypocrisy.
“The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues,” she said. “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.”
She then got more specific, hitting the Nordic nations for not doing enough to eliminate fossil fuels: “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 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,” she continued. “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.”
She closed with one of her trademark ultimatums. “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,” she concluded.
As reported by CNN, the Nordic Council confirmed in a news release Tuesday that Thunberg did indeed reject their award.
Dressing down world leaders has become Thunberg’s modus operandi. In late September, the climate alarmist issued a similar statement to the United Nations which painted an apocalyptic picture of the world and included digs about the leaders being “not mature enough” to be honest about the dire situation.
“My message is that we’ll be watching you,” she said in a speech that went viral, in part due to critics pointing to its hyperbolic claims. “This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope, how dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”