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16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg could become youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient

The Youth Strike 4 Climate movement will involve hundreds of thousands of young people today (Mar 15).

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg could become youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient

16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is seen on stage as she takes part in a protest claiming for urgent measures to combat climate change, in Hamburg, Germany on Mar 1, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who inspired the international Youth Strike 4 Climate movement, has been nominated for a Nobel peace prize just a day before her movement makes its boldest move yet.

Thunberg began a solo protest in Sweden last August by refusing to attend school, calling for more to be done to combat climate change. Strikes are expected in 1,659 towns and cities in 105 countries on Friday (Mar 15), involving hundreds of thousands of young people.

She was nominated by three Norwegian MPs. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy Andre Ovstegard. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”

The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in December. There are 301 candidates for the 2019 prize: 223 individuals and 78 organisations. If Thunberg were to win, she would be the youngest recipient since Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 when she received the prize in 2014.

Ms Thunberg tweeted she was "honoured and very grateful” to receive the nomination.

The Swedish teenager describes herself on Twitter as "a 16-year-old climate activist with Asperger [syndrome]". She first staged a school strike for the climate in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year. Since then, she has been missing lessons most Fridays to stage her regular protests.

She continued to gain international attention after speaking at the UN Climate Talks in Poland last December and at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

Source: CNA/jv