17-year old Climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, given a prestigious human rights award and promptly pledged the one million Euro prize to various groups fighting the climate crisis.
Thunberg was awarded the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, a Portuguese human rights award, “aimed to recognise people, groups of people and/or organisations from all over the world whose contributions to mitigation and adaptation to climate change stand out for its novelty, innovation and impact.”
She announced on her social media, that all the prize money will be donated to those “who are working to help people on the frontlines affected by the climate crisis and the ecological crisis, especially in the Global South.”
The first organization to receive funding was SOS Amazonia, an organization helping to end the COVID-19 outbreak in the Amazon, particularly among indigenous communities.
Why was Thunberg awarded the Prestigious Prize?
Since gaining global recognition for starting a protest outside the Swedish parliament in 2018, Thunberg has become a figurehead of school strikes for children internationally.
Jorge Sampaio, chair of the prize jury said she was awarded the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity for the way “she has been able to mobilise younger generations for the cause of climate change.” He goes on to say, “her tenacious struggle to alter a status quo that persists, makes her one of the most remarkable figures of our days.”
This is the largest prize won to date by the Swedish Activist, who has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, nominated Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019, won Amnesty International's top human rights prize and the Swedish Right Livelihood Award.