Greta Thunberg Is Bookies’ Early Favorite for Nobel Peace Prize

PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Climate change activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a press conference before setting sail for New York in the 60ft Malizia II yacht from Mayflower Marina, on August 14, 2019 in Plymouth, England. Greta Thunberg is a teenage activist born in Sweden in 2003. She began …
Finnbarr Webster/Getty

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has been tagged by bookmakers as an early favorite for next week’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Ladbrokes is citing odds of 1/2 for her to win and according to the bookmaker, she is way ahead of the rest of the pack after her speech at a recent U.N. conference.

Other odds being set by Ladbrokes include New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern at 8/1 and the European Union down at 20/1.

Her move to favoritism comes after she addressed the United Nations General Assembly last month, where Thunberg scolded world leaders, saying, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood.”

See all those in the running with bets being taken by Ladbrokes here. Paddypower also lists the activist as out in front with punters, having Thunberg as 4/7 favorite. Oddschecker has her listed as 4/7 as well.

Any prediction carries a great deal of uncertainty, since the list of candidates considered by the Nobel Committee isn’t made public, yet Thunberg is being applauded because she launched a school strike that urged students to join her ‘Fridays for Future’ movement.

The movement implores school-age children to take time off of school to demonstrate and demand action to prevent further climate change.

Thunberg won Amnesty International’s highest honour earlier this month and bookies’ reckon this will follow through, bagging her the highest acclaim for peace keeping.

“What she has done over the past year is extraordinary,” said Dan Smith, the director of Stockholm international peace research institute SIPRI. “Climate change is an issue which is strongly related to security and peace.”

However, his counterpart at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Henrik Urdal, said he didn’t think she would win.

“Extremely unlikely,” he said, noting her young age and the fact that a link between climate change and armed conflict remains unproven.

Also mentioned as possible winners are Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has made peace with his bitter foe Eritrea, and NGOs including Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The Norwegian Nobel Committee received 301 nominations this year, but it never discloses the names.

The Nobel season opens Monday with the Medicine Prize, followed by the Physics and Chemistry Prizes. The awards wind up on October 14 with the Economics Prize.

One person who is not so enamoured is Russian President Vladimir Putin who chimed in yesterday, calling Thunberg a “poorly informed teenager” who was being used by adults.

President Putin accused her of failing to understand the realities of the modern world.

“I may disappoint you but I don’t share the general excitement about Greta Thunberg’s speech,” Mr Putin, 66, told an energy forum in Moscow when asked about the Swedish activist’s appearance at the United Nations.

“No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and diverse, that it is developing quickly, and that people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth levels as in Sweden,” Mr Putin said.

AFP contributed to this story

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