Tutu: Time for the Nobel Peace Prize to Divest from Fossil Fuels
When Alfred Nobel’s will was made public in 1896, it largely came as a surprise that the inventor of dynamite, a tool of destruction, had decided to establish a dedicated prize for the promotion of peace.
Whether it was an act of atonement, as Albert Einstein suggested, remains as speculation but many give Nobel’s friend Bertha von Suttner credit for the establishment of the peace prize. She had spent years trying to engage Nobel in the peace movement.
When he finally informed her about his decision, she knew that her efforts had not been futile. She wrote, "Whether I am around then or not does not matter; what we have given, you and I, is going to live on." In 1905, nine years after Nobel’s death, she became the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Over a century later, keeping the legacy of Nobel and von Suttner alive is as important as ever. Humanity is confronted by one of the greatest threats it has ever faced: climate change. Only last week, even senior military figures warned that climate change is the ‘greatest security threat of the 21st century’.
We know that peace, war, human rights, the health of our planet and its climate are inextricably interwoven. Climate change has a multiplier effect on conflicts over resources and the impacts of climate change are disproportionately felt by the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. It is often women who bear the brunt of these impacts in particular.