WASHINGTON – Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg has continued to make news leading into the announcement Friday of the winner for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, for which she is nominated.
The 16-year-old Swede recently inspired the largest climate strike in history, testified before Congress, and addressed the United Nations — again.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually to the person or organization that has "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Thunberg was nominated for inspiring millions to march for climate change and standing up to leadership around the globe.
Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård said Thunberg "has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace" and that they nominated her for the prize "because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees."
Thunberg recently scolded hundreds of world leaders at the UN saying through tears, "how dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
If selected, the teen would be the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate since Malala Yousafzai.
Here are some of the things to know about the teen climate change activist:
She founded 'Fridays For Future'
Thunberg first came to global attention with #FridaysForFuture, an international movement that began in 2018 when Thunberg, then age 15, started taking weeks off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament to protest against inaction on climate change.
She posted her protests on social media, and her postings went viral, inspiring thousands all over the world to protest their respective governments.
She has encouraged other students to skip school to join protests demanding faster action on climate change.
"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 have ever faced."
She has addressed two United Nations' summits by the age of 16
Thunberg garnered international attention at the United Nations COP24 Climate Summit in Poland last year, when she told assembled world leaders that they “have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again,” she said. “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
The climate talks that culminated at the summit resulted in nearly 200 nations agreeing to rules that will govern the Paris Climate Agreement.
This year, she spoke through to tears to hundreds of world leaders in New York, pleading that "People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of the mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
The speech once again went viral.
She recently led potentially the largest climate rally ever
Before the 2019 UN Summit, millions of people around the world took part in September's Global Climate Strike, and estimates of total crowd sizes reached between an estimated 4 million to 7.6 million people.
On Sept. 20, and during the weeks following, millions marched through cities around the globe.
Thunberg marched in New York City, where she addressed thousands of strikers, exclaiming to the crowd, "This is an emergency. Our house is on fire."
Last Friday over 4 million people striked for the climate.— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 25, 2019
This Friday we do it again!
170 countries and 6383 events so far in #weekforfuture
Find or register your strike at https://t.co/G06WbXNvl1 or local websites.
Spread the word!#FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/VXCnPQzw6a
She has given President Trump the glare
After Thunberg delivered her emotional speech to world leaders at the UN in September, news cameras captured her staring at President Donald Trump when he arrived in the same lobby she was in.
Trump tweeted after her speech that, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future," the President wrote over Thunberg's quote. "'So nice to see!"
Thunberg responded by changing her Twitter bio to replicate his tweet.
Trump had been at odds with world leaders specifically on climate after he announced in 2017 that the U.S. would formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. He made an unexpected appearance at the UN climate summit in September, for a total of 14 minutes.
She's testified before Congress
Thunberg was one of the witnesses to testify in September before a joint hearing of two House committees on the “global climate crisis.”
During the hearing, she had a simple message for American lawmakers: Do something.
Instead of planning a lengthy opening statement to start the hearing, Thunberg simply offered a copy of the 2018 global warming report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that emphasizes the dire threat that human-caused global warming poses, along with the climate and economic impacts.
"I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me," Thunberg told lawmakers. "I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action."
'I want you to take action': Greta Thunberg testifies before Congress
She's been recognized by Time Magazine
In May of 2019, the teen activist was featured on the magazine's cover.
“The world is listening. Organizers estimate that on March 15, a remarkable 1.6 million people in 133 countries participated in a climate strike inspired by Thunberg’s solo action,” the magazine's passage about her reads.
She sailed across the Atlantic, rather than fly
In August, Thunberg again captured global attention when she set off from Plymouth, United Kingdom, on a two-week zero-emissions boat voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City.
Thunberg wouldn't fly to the U.S. ahead of the United Nations meeting on climate because of emissions from air travel. So, she and a crew traveled on a zero-emissions racing yacht.
"It is insane that a 16-year-old would have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to make a stand," she said. "The climate and ecological crisis is a global crisis, the biggest crisis that humanity has ever faced, and if we don't manage to work together and to cooperate and to work together despite our differences, then we will fail."
She has been praised, and criticized, by world leaders and celebrities
As Thunberg's name earned global recognition, world leaders and celebrities offered their praise, and criticism.
In a tweet, Obama called Thunberg one of the “planet's greatest advocates."
Just 16, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action. She embodies our vision at the @ObamaFoundation: A future shaped by young leaders like her. pic.twitter.com/VgCPAaDp3C— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 17, 2019
Calling the outspoken teen one of her favorite "gutsy women," Hillary Clinton, former secretary of State and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, encouraged her Twitter followers to join in the Global Climate Strike in September.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Thunberg's most recent UN speech, calling her “a kind and very sincere girl” who doesn’t understand the complexities of “the modern world.”
Thunberg hit back similarly to Trump's criticism of her, once again simply changing her twitter bio.
She is on the autism spectrum — and she calls being 'different' a 'superpower'
When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 31, 2019
I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And - given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower.#aspiepower pic.twitter.com/A71qVBhWUU
"When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!" Thunberg wrote. "I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And — given the right circumstances — being different is a superpower."
She told the New Yorker: “I see the world a bit different, from another perspective. I have a special interest. It’s very common that people on the autism spectrum have a special interest.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Greta Thunberg: 9 things to know about the climate change activist