September 24, 2014

McKibben and win “Alternative Nobel,” The Right Livelihood Award

Stockholm — founder Bill McKibben will be one of five recipients of this year’s Right Livelihood Awards, when they’re presented at the Swedish Parliament in early December, a Stockholm foundation announced today.

The prize, often called the “Alternative Nobel,” will be shared with human rights activists Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) and Basil Fernando / Asian Human Rights Commission (Hong Kong, China), and whistleblower Edward Snowden and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who will receive a joint Honorary Award.

“This is a great honor but clearly it belongs mostly to the people who make up–it’s them, but above all the hundreds of thousands of volunteers in 191 countries, who have built the first global grassroots movement to deal with the largest crisis civilization has ever faced,” said McKibben.

The award, which has previously gone to individuals such as Wangari Maathai, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Vandana Shiva, comes with an award of 500,000 SEK, that McKibben said would fund the work of and its partner organizations. McKibben said some money would be sent immediately to the Pacific Island activists who will blockade Australian coal ports in their traditional canoes next month.

“This recognition of our efforts comes at a perfect moment after the remarkable success of the People’s Climate March and as we start the strongest push yet against the fossil fuel industry and the politicians it has purchased,” said McKibben.


More information:

The Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award honours and supports those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today. The Awards were founded in 1980. In many countries, they are often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prizes’.

There are today (1980-2013 Laureates) 153 Laureates from 64 countries. With the 2014 Laureates we will have 158 Laureates from 65 countries.

Presented annually in Stockholm at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament, the Right Livelihood Award is usually shared by four Recipients, but not all Laureates receive a cash award. Often an Honorary Award is given to a person or group whose work the Jury wishes to recognise but who is not primarily in need of monetary support. For the others, the prize money is 500,000 SEK. The prize money is for ongoing successful work, never for personal use. This year, 2 Laureates receive an honorary award, and three receive a cash prize, so the total prize sum is 1,5 mio SEK.