Oslo: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Brazilian indigenous leader Raoni Metuktire and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed have dominated the Nobel Peace Prize lists, the awards for which will be announced here on Friday. A little over a year ago the 16-year-old Swedish teenager began a weekly school strike in front of her country’s parliament calling for stronger measures against climate change, an action that has given rise to the global movement “FridaysForFuture”, reports Efe news
Thunberg has been received by world leaders, attending the UN Climate Action Summit a few weeks ago and has become a world reference in the fight against climate change. If Thunberg takes the prize, she would become the youngest winner in Nobel history, surpassing Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, who won the Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17. The nominees include other names linked to the fight for the environment such as Raoni Metuktire, an emblematic figure against deforestation in the Amazon and a reference for the Kayapo people. He was also a finalist for the European Parliament’s 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
Efforts to enforce the Paris Agreement could also award the prize to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. In opposition to an “environmental” Nobel, the criteria that Swedish magnate Alfred Nobel, its creator, once wrote will play a role in deciding who will take the prize for: “the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the promotion of peace congresses.” But the Norwegian Nobel Committee has not always fully adjusted and has previously recognized the struggle for the environment, as it did with Kenyan Wangari Maathai (2004), Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri (2007). Another name highlighted in the pool is Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who promoted a peace agreement between his country and Eritrea.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), International Land Coalition (ILC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are also candidates in the betting houses as well as in Oslo. The lists of candidates include former CIA analyst Edward Snowden and several Russian representatives such as Svetlana Ganushkina of the Memorial organisation; the newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”, Sergei Kovaliov, Lilia Shibanova, Ludmila Alexeeva, the NGO Agora and Chechen lawyer Lidia Yusúpova. The Arctic Council, Lebanon’s Hajer Sharief, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Pope Francis, Saudi Raif Badawi and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have also appeared in the forecasts. The Peace Prize is the only one of the six prizes awarded outside Sweden, in Oslo, at the request of Alfred Nobel, as Norway was part of the Swedish kingdom at the time. (IANS)