Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has received the first Freedom Prize in the northwestern city of Caen, Normandy. At age 15, she began protesting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 about the need for immediate action to combat climate change. She founded the Fridays for Future campaign, which takes out rallies every Friday to protest against the lack of effective climate legislation on a governmental level.
For her efforts, the 16-year-old received the award before a crowd of 2,000 people. The Freedom Prize pays homage to all those who fight for freedom. Thunberg beat out two other finalists, Saudi blogger and dissident Raif Badawi and Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang, to become the winner.
The Freedom Prize was given in the presence of several World War Two veterans. “I think the least we can do to honor them is to stop destroying that same world that Charles, Leon, and their friends and colleagues fought so hard to save” said Miss Thunberg. She is adamant now that she will donate the 28,000-dollar prize money to four organizations working for climate justice.
“This prize is not only for me. This is for the whole ‘Fridays for Future’ movement because this we have achieved together. So, I will donate the prize money from the ‘Prix du Liberte’ (Freedom Prize) to four different organizations working for climate justice.”
Voicing concern over the drastic climatic changes, she said every year, seven million people die from illness caused by toxic air pollution.
“This is a silent war going on. We are currently on track for a world that could displace billions of people from their homes, taking away even the most basic living conditions from countless people, making areas of the world uninhabitable from some part of the year.”
“And yet the link between climate and ecological emergency and mass migration, famine, and war is still not clear to many people. This must change.”
She is full of vigor and plans on working as hard as she can to combat and rally against any kind of damage being done to our climate.