Youth is the hope of tomorrow, the famous quote says. This is true, especially when different youth organizations ally to forward a cause on matters concerning our environment, human rights, and social issues.
In 2008, when the Taliban gained control of some regions of Pakistan and all school for girls were shut down, the brave 11-year-old Malala Yousafzai started to speak publicly on behalf of girls and their right to education. This made her a target, and she was shot in the head for it. But after a few months, she had fully recovered from her surgeries.
She established the Malala Fund, a charity which aims to give every girl an opportunity for the future that she wants. And today, another extraordinary youth created change when she saw an alarming problem concerning our environment.
Politicians from Norway nominated Greta Thunberg for a Nobel peace prize, a climate activist from Sweden. She became famous worldwide for her campaigns against climate change, which drew attention from the public. What is interesting about her is that at sixteen, she is the leader of the Youth Strike for Climate movement.
She started a solo protest in front of the Swedish Parliament last August 2018, to raise awareness of global warming. She missed an estimated three weeks of classes and demanded that Swedish politicians must help in advocating minimized carbon emissions with regards to the Paris Agreement.
Thunberg inspired hundreds of other young individuals to skip their classes and join the protests. These protests urge for faster action on climate change. Her movement has spread not only in Sweden but globally — reaching European nations. Currently, regular walkouts are happening globally, including countries such as Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and Japan.
Freddy Andre Oevstegaard is one of the lawmakers who nominated Greta. He told AFP news agency that they chose her because if we don’t do anything to stop climate change, it can lead to wars, conflicts, and refugees. Furthermore, he believed that Greta’s immense movement would lead to a significant peace contribution.
If Greta wins the Nobel prize, she will be the youngest awardee ever. She will be followed by Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when she received her award.
On Twitter, Greta expressed that she was very grateful and honored to be nominated. She added, “Tomorrow we will continue to #schoolstrike for our future. And we shall continue to do it for as long as it takes.”
Greta continues to attract global attention after participating in the following events. Last 2018 at the UN Climate Summit, she accused world leaders of acting like children and challenged them to do better. And In January, she also participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos. According to her, change is coming whether we want it or not.
International Officials, National Politicians, some University professors, and past winners can nominate someone for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The winner of the Nobel prize will be announced this October and will be awarded in December at Oslo. Overall, for the 2019 title, there are 301 nominees composed of 223 individuals and 78 organizations.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is known not to give comments regarding the nominations. Usually, the names of nominators and nominees are not made public after 50 years.
So, what can we learn from Greta? We need to see climate change as a severe problem, and it does not only affect a few countries or selected people only; this is everyone’s concern — even the youth can see its threats to our environment, living organisms, and especially to humans.
We need to be more environmentally conscious and make personal changes in our lifestyle to save the planet. Greta told CNN, that as much as possible, she avoids flying, eating meat, and buying new stuff unless it’s necessary.
We need to practice what we preach. Greta is known to practice what she preaches. Greta traveled to Davos for 32 hours via trains while political and business leaders went there using 1,500 private jets.
Greta told in her speech at Davos that, we are running out of time, but we can still do something to save the planet. Furthermore, she stated that “no one is too small to make a difference.”