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Climate activist Greta Thunberg wins 'alternative Nobel Prize'

The 16-year-old denounced world leaders on Monday for failing to tackle climate change in a speech at the start of a climate summit at the United Nations in New York.

Greta Thunberg (C) joins activists outside the United Nations during a protest against climate change on 6 September 2019 in New York. Picture: AFP

STOCKHOLM - Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was named on Wednesday as one of four winners of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, known as Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize.

Thunberg won the award “for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts,” the Right Livelihood Foundation said in a statement.

Thunberg, 16, denounced world leaders on Monday for failing to tackle climate change in a speech at the start of a climate summit at the United Nations in New York.

She started solitary weekly protests outside Swedish parliament a year ago. Inspired by her, millions of young people poured onto streets around the world last Friday to demand governments attending the summit take emergency action.

Thunberg shares the award with Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people, Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei and Western Sahara human rights defender Aminatou Haidar.

“With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honour four practical visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights and to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth,” the foundation said in the statement.

The four laureates will receive a cash award of 1 million Swedish crowns ($103,000) each.

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