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Swedish teen Greta Thunberg leads worldwide protest


Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work leading a youth campaign to halt climate change.
Time, Time

It’s been quite a week for Greta Thunberg.

First, on Wednesday, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Then, Friday, a protest strike she spearheaded will unfold around the world, as tens of thousands of young people take to the streets in 112 countries to call for action on climate change.

Thunberg tweeted Thursday that the “School Strike For Climate” protest will take place in over 1,700 locations.

The teen has encouraged students to skip school to join protests demanding faster action on climate change, a movement that has spread beyond Sweden to other European nations

The overall movement she started is called “Fridays For Future,” which began just last August when Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.

“We are facing a disaster of unspoken suffering for enormous amounts of people,” Thunberg said at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. “Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens has ever faced.” 

More: UN report: ‘Unprecedented changes’ needed to protect Earth from global warming

In the U.S. alone, some 100,000 young people are expected to participate in at least 400 separate protests in all 50 states, organizers said. 

The warnings about the state of the planet’s climate continue to roll in.

NASA said that the past five years have been the warmest five years since records began in the late 1800s. And the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide — the gas scientists say is most responsible for the warming — has spiked to levels not seen in thousands or likely millions of years.

More: Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere may soar to levels not seen in 56 million years

In addition, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned last October, “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are required to ward off the worst impacts of global warming.” The goal is to cap global warming at 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, which may prove nearly impossible unless swift action is taken, the panel said.

As for the Nobel, Thunberg tweeted that she was “honored and very grateful for this nomination,” which was made by three Norweigian lawmakers. The prize will be handed out later this year.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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