Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg will not be this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner.
That honor was instead awarded Friday to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Insider reported.
The Nobel Committee said it selected Ahmed for his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation and for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”
The committee also praised Ahmed for helping to broker a peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Thunberg was an odds-on favorite to take the prestigious prize.
Some of her supporters expressed disappointment and outrage on Friday.
She has inspired a generation & proven that you’re never too young to make a difference. #ClimateChange is affecting the planet & the world’s leaders need to realise that our actions speak louder than words. ?
— Jake Harrison (@thejakeharrison) October 11, 2019
Meanwhile, Newsweek declared Thunberg had been “snubbed.”
Greta Thunberg snubbed for Nobel Peace Prize by committee run by Norway, one of the world's biggest oil and natural gas exporters https://t.co/DUl8FFVtul
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 11, 2019
Some experts, however, didn’t find the Nobel Committee’s decision all that surprising.
Henrik Urdal, head of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, explained why he left Thunberg off a Nobel Peace Prize shortlist he gave the committee.
Urdal told The Washington Post there “isn’t scientific consensus that there is a linear relationship between climate change — or resource scarcity, more broadly — and armed conflict.”
Previously, Nobel insiders had floated the possibility that Thunberg’s approach to activism might cost her.
“It’s been a while [since Gore was awarded the prize in 2007] … so that would boost her chances,” Sverre Lodgaard, a deputy member of the award committee from 2003 to 2011, told Reuters last month.
“The problem is that the principle of ‘flight shame’ brings her chances … down. Shame is not a constructive feeling to bring about change.”
Greta Thunberg, climate change firebrand
Thunberg’s skyrocketing profile has fiercely divided public opinion on the 16-year-old Swede.
Last month she delivered an emotional speech about climate change at a United Nations event. Her address to world leaders went viral, dominating headlines, social media chatter – and sparking fierce debate among critics and advocates of climate change activism.
“This is all wrong,” said Thunberg during a U.N. summit. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you!”
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg added. “And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
After her speech, Thunberg happened to be in the lobby of U.N. headquarters when President Donald Trump arrived. Her scowl was captured by news cameras from around the world as they clamored around the president.
The reaction to Thunberg reflected the often partisan nature of the broader climate change debate.
Conservatives criticized what they perceived as her exploitation by adult activists. Liberals focused on the purported cruelty of those who would attack a child.
Many of Thunberg’s critics reacted to the Nobel Committee’s announcement by taking shots at her.
This tweet didn't age well.
— Okey (@fizokey) October 11, 2019
“imagine snubbing a 16 year old climate activist in favor of a guy who is just helping to end some civil war or whatever,” quipped conservative journalist Jeryl Bier.
- Greta Thunberg speaks at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City on Sept. 23, 2019.: Screen grab