Nobel Peace Prize nomination for student climate campaigner Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg, 16, has struck a chord with younger people disillusioned by the slow progress of the adult world in halting climate change. PHOTO: AFP

OSLO (AFP) - Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl climate campaigner who has inspired worldwide protests, should be awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Norwegian lawmakers said on Thursday (March 14).

"We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees," Norwegian Socialist Left MP Freddy Andre Ovstegard told AFP.

"Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace," he added.

Six months ago, no one knew who Greta was when, as a 15-year-old, she camped outside Sweden's Parliament next to a handwritten sign: "School strike for climate."

Since then she has gone global, striking a chord with younger people disillusioned by the slow progress of the adult world in halting climate change.

Three MPs for the opposition Socialist Left nominated Greta for the prize before the Jan 31 deadline, Mr Ovstegard said, meaning her nomination is valid for the 2019 prize which will be announced on Oct 11.

"It's obviously a great honour and nice to be nominated for such a big prize," Greta told Swedish daily Aftonbladet.

"It feels unreal, and a little strange."

On Friday, thousands of students are expected to demonstrate in more than 100 countries in what activists say could be a milestone moment in a grassroots campaign to push world leaders into doing more.

"We are only seeing the beginning," Greta, now 16, tweeted recently.

"I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future."

According to the Nobel Institute, 304 individuals and organisations have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

The list of nominees is kept secret for at least 50 years, in line with the Nobel Foundation's statutes.

Thousands of people, including lawmakers and Cabinet members from around the world, former laureates and some university professors, are entitled to nominate people for the prize.

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