This is a people’s vote! We wanted to know who you thought should be recognised for their contribution to engaging people with climate change – someone in the public sphere in the past year, communicating climate change with the public in a way that really stood out.
In the first stage of voting, we accepted nominations from the public. The Climate Outreach team then decided on a shortlist of three nominees which went back to the public vote, and the nominee with the most votes won.
Winners: Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna
Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna are poets and activists from communities experiencing the impacts of climate change. Kathy is a writer and performer of Marshall Islander ancestry, and co-founded the non-profit Jo-Jikum, dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to climate change and other environmental impacts threatening their home island. Aka is from Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and started doing poetry with a wish to create nuanced conversations about not only climate change, but also colonialism and indigenous peoples rights. Together, they connected their realities of melting glaciers and rising sea levels in a poetic video called “Rise: From One Island to Another.”
Runners up: Professor Richard Betts & Greta Thunberg
Professor Richard Betts
Prof Richard Betts is a climate scientist specialising in the links between global ecosystems and the water cycle and a lead author with the IPCC. He was appointed MBE for ‘services to understanding climate change.” The nominations we received for him highlighted his willingness to talk climate with everyone, whatever their views, offline and online.
Greta Thunberg is a 16 year old Swedish environmental activist who inspired an international climate school strike movement. It led to the biggest climate strike in history in September 2019, with over 4 million people taking part in over 160 countries. Greta goes on strike every Friday, wherever she is, demanding that leaders be held accountable. [Photo credit: Stefan Müller]
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