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‘Alternative Nobel’ Laureates Call for Climate Leadership

Press Release – Right Livelihood Award

Alternative Nobel Laureates Call for Climate Leadership and Putting an End to War and DiscriminationStockholm, 30 November 2015

‘Alternative Nobel’ Laureates Call for Climate Leadership and Putting an End to War and Discrimination

The 2015 Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, call for renewed global efforts to tackle the climate crisis, secure the rights of indigenous and LGBTI communities, and put an end to war. The four Laureates receive their awards at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm today.

Tony De Brum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands, who receives this year’s Honorary Award on behalf of his nation, is a leading international voice on the existential threat posed by climate change to the Marshall Islands and other low-lying atoll nations, and the benefits of an accelerated transition to a low-carbon economy.

“I never imagined years ago when I was at the United Nations fighting for my country’s independence that I would be back, decades later, fighting for a new agreement to avert a new crisis that once again threatens the survival of my country. Lying just two meters above sea level in the vast blue expanse of the Pacific, we are literally at the mercy of the rising waves and the wicked storms that are the symptoms of our warming world”, he said.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Canadian Inuit leader, stressed the life-changing impacts of climate change on indigenous communities. “In the Arctic we may be far from the world’s corridors of power, but the hunter who falls through the thinning sea ice in the Arctic is connected to industries of the ‘south’, the rising waters and stronger hurricanes which threaten the United States, to melting glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas, to the flooding of low-lying and small island states. We must think of foreign policy, environmental and economic policy in the same breath,” Watt-Cloutier said.

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, human rights activist who has successfully defended the rights of LGBTI people in her native Uganda, urged an awakening of people’s consciousness to bring about lasting and tangible change: “I believe that the day is not far when discrimination against people based on who they love will also be left behind in the wastebasket of history.”

Gino Strada, Italian surgeon who co-founded EMERGENCY—an NGO that has provided medical assistance to 6.5 million people in war-torn countries around the world, used the occasion to call for a global coalition for the abolition of war: “War, just like deadly diseases, has to be prevented and cured. Violence is not the right medicine: it does not cure the disease; it kills the patient.”

“A massive movement— gathering hundreds of million citizens over the years, decades and centuries—changed the perception of slavery: today we repel the idea of human beings chained and reduced to slavery. That utopia became true. A world without war is another utopia we cannot wait any longer to see materialized,” Dr Strada said.

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1 comment:

  1. Bo Lagerqvit, 3. December 2015, 11:01

    According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) climate impacts of construction processes in Sweden stand for equal CO2 emissons of all cars in Sweden. If CO2 emissions cause climate change we must be careful and not tear down functional buildings – if not necessary – to replace them with new concrete buildings, especially if the threatened buildings are of high historical value. Many Stockholmers are now concerned about the Nobel Foundation´s plans to demolish three buildings, a beautiful Customs House built in 1876 and two unique wooden warehouses, and replace them with a huge concrete/glass/brass complex in honor of dynamite and weapons manufacturer Alfred Nobel. The proposed building would wipe out a valuable part of the historic waterfront environment in Stockholm’s inner harbour and darken the National Museum of Fine Arts. Please watch the video to get an idea of the project’s impact on the environment in Stockholm’s historic harbor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ83twzuFw0