Teen Girl Behind Climate Change Protests Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to combat climate change.

The Swedish 16-year-old is an inspirational yet unlikely leader of weekly school strikes that have gained momentum worldwide.

On Friday, she will be one of the hundreds of thousands of students around the world expected to skip school and take the streets for climate action. The Youth Climate Strike will take place in more than 130 cities in the U.S., and in 90 countries.

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Greta Thunberg demonstrates with high school students against global warming at a Fridays for Future demonstration in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: Getty.

"More people are starting to become aware of the situation and that we are facing a crisis," Thunberg said on CBSN Thursday.

"And I think it is amazing to see that hundreds of thousands of children from all around the world are realising this and are making their voices heard. Why should we go and study for a future that may not exist anymore?"

She planted the seed of the movement when Sweden was having its parliamentary elections last September. The then-15-year-old skipped school for three weeks and sat outside the country's Parliament building with a sign demanding radical action from government on climate change.

But even after the elections were over, her protests continued. Her efforts eventually got the attention of world leaders when she delivered a blistering speech at the UN's climate conference in December.

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"I just thought that nothing is happening and no one is doing anything to fight climate change," she told CBSN.

"And then I thought, 'If no one does anything, I'll have to do something.' When I grow older I want to look back and say I did what I could back then."

She soon gained a large following on social media for her work, and the movement she started spread to other countries across Europe and around the world.

According to the Nobel Prize organisation, any national member of government can nominate an individual for the heralded peace award. Freddy André Ovstegard and two other Norwegian lawmakers chose Thunberg because of her leadership in the fight against climate change.

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Students gather to demand the government take action on climate change at Martin Place in November last year. Photo: Getty.

"We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important contributions to war and conflict," Ovstegard told Norwegian newspaper VG.

"The massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution."

Thunberg told CBSN that when she heard the new she didn't know how to react.

"There have been several people nominating me and I found out the first ones were maybe a month ago and then more people by time, but I think it is unbelievable," she said.

The prize will be announced in October and awarded in December. If Thunberg wins, she would be the youngest recipient since Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when she received the prize.

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