STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki has won an honourary “Alternative Nobel” for his work to raise awareness about climate change.
Two activists from Congo and New Zealand and a doctor from Australia won the top awards presented by the Right Livelihood Foundation for their work to protect rain forests, improve women’s health and rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The awards were announced Tuesday in Stockholm.
Congolese activist Rene Ngongo, Alyn Ware of New Zealand and Australian-born Catherine Hamlin, who has been based in Ethiopia for five decades, each will receive US$74,000, the foundation said.
The honourary part of the award — without prize money — went to Suzuki.
Suzuki, 73, is best known in Canada for his television and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He’s also been harshly critical of governments for their lack of action on climate change.
He is also the co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation which, among other things, works to protect the enviroment and nature.
Suzuki says he’s honoured to receive an “Alternative Nobel” prize, but he says it’s embarrassing that Canada is going backwards when it comes to fighting climate change.
Suzuki says the award is a recognition of the importance of the issue, yet the current Canadian government has failed to act.
Suzuki says Canada, with its northern climate and thousands of miles of coastline, is more vulnerable than most countries to the effect of global warming.
He says it’s embarrassing that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has never once recognized the importance of battling climate change, and it’s a failure on his part and on the part of the environmental movement.