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Caen (France): Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg smiles as she receives the prize on Sunday.—AFP
Caen (France): Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg smiles as she receives the prize on Sunday.—AFP

CAEN: Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage activist whose Friday school strikes protesting government inaction over climate change helped sparked a worldwide movement, received the Freedom Prize in France on Sunday.

Flanked by two WWII veterans who sponsor the prize, she accepted the award at a ceremony in the northwestern city of Caen, Normandy.

“This prize is not only for me,” Thunberg said. “This is for the whole Fridays for Future movement, because this we have achieved together.” She said she would donate the 25,000 euro ($28,000) prize money to four organisations working for climate justice and helping areas already affected by climate change.

The prize was awarded before an audience of several hundred people and in the presence of several WWII veterans, including France’s Leon Gautier and US native American Charles Norman Shay. Both are sponsors of the prize.

Thunberg said she had spent an unforgettable day with Shay on Omaha Beach, one of the sites of the 1944 Normandy landings that launched the Allied offensive that helped end World War II.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2019