Most 16-year-olds are concerned with getting their math homework done, what to wear to the next house party, their dates for the upcoming prom, and whether or not they should be applying to college in the next year. Not so for Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
This 16-year-old has taken the world by storm in recent months, traveling all over the globe to discuss climate change and fighting to introduce more environmentally friendly measures for everything from transportation to packaging to waste disposal.
So far, she has already addressed the U.N. Climate Talks as a result of her activism, as well as speaking at Davos in Switzerland in January at the World Economic Forum.
The result of her never tiring pursuit for a cleaner and brighter future is that she has now been nominated to receive the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
According to the BBC, Thunberg was nominated by three Norwegian MPs for the award, who explained that her movement could well result in peace.
“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy Andre Ovstegard said. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”
Should Thunberg win the award, it will make her the youngest ever recipient, beating out the previous youngest winner, Malala Yousafzai, who won it when she was 17.
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) March 14, 2019
Thunberg took to Twitter to thank the MPs for nominating her.
“Honored and very grateful for this nomination.”
The teenager — who was just 15-years-old at the time — first gained fame after starting a viral movement in Sweden where students skipped school on Fridays to protest climate change outside parliament. For the first few weeks, she handed out fliers outside the buildings that read, “I am doing this because you adults are s***ting on my future.”
Explaining that it doesn’t matter to her if she got into trouble at school, she said that “I believe that one person can make a difference.” Given how the movement has grown since August, she certainly has the right idea about how to go about changing the world.
She used the hashtag “FridaysForFuture” to get the ball rolling, and soon students in the hundreds were attending each week. Clearly a solid understanding of social media and a “never say die” attitude can be used for great good if the right intentions are there.
Incredibly, her movement has gone well beyond the borders of her own country, with students getting on board all over the world. Germany, Belgium, the U.K., France, Australia, and Japan, to name but a few, have all seen students protesting climate change outside government buildings. This Friday, students in more than 100 countries across the globe are expected to participate in marches.
Although being nominated is an incredible honor, especially for someone of such tender years, Thunberg isn’t exactly a surefire win for the Nobel Peace Prize. The winner is announced in October, and with seven months still to go, there are already 301 candidates nominated for the prize.