Teen cimate defender Greta Thunberg will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Mons, alongside British economist Nicholas Terne and former French minister Nicolas Hulot, the university announced on Thursday. The three will receive their doctoral diploma and insignia at the official opening of the university’s 2019-2020 academic year on October 10.
Thunberg, Hulot and Stern have been selected for the award because of their contribution, each in their own way, to raising awareness on sustainable development.
Swedish 16-year-old Thunberg is a climate activist, who drew global attention to her cause by going on a school strike to demand political action on climate change, and sparking similar student strikes throughout the world.
Stern is an expert on the climate problem in economics, and Hulot is France’s former environmental minister who, frustrated with his government’s environmental policies, resigned from his position last year.
The ceremony, to be held at the Royal Theatre of Mons, will mark the start of festivities linked to the 10th anniversary of the creation of the university, which resulted from the merger, in 2009, between the Université de Mons-Hainaut and the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons.
The new Honorary Doctors will now become part of a strong tradition of openness of mind, creativity and freedom of thought.
Previous laureates include Muhamad Yunus (2010), Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg (2012), Daniel Cohen (2015), Edwy Plenel (2016), Albert Jacquard (1996), Claudie Haigneré (2008), Gisèle Halimi (1998) and Jean Ziegler (2004).