Canadian journalist and activist Naomi Klein has won the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize.
The international peace prize by the Sydney Peace Foundation from the University of Sydney was awarded to Klein for her extensive analysis of corporate capitalism as well as climate-change activism and proposals to limit emissions and fossil fuel extraction.
“Naomi Klein: For exposing the structural causes and responsibility for the climate crisis, for inspiring us to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality, and for reminding us of the power of authentic democracy to achieve transformative change and justice,” read the jury’s citation.
The best-selling author of The Shock Doctrine, which criticised America’s “free market” policies, and No Logo is often regarded as one of the world’s most influential thinkers. In recent years, Klein has been at the forefront of promoting environmentalism with her non-fiction bestseller, film and project This Changes Everything and has also attended the Copenhagen Climate Summit of 2009.
Klein said she hoped the award would highlight the need for a “justice-based transition from fossil fuels, highlighting policies that dramatically lower emissions while creating huge numbers of jobs and battling systemic inequalities”.
“It comes at a time when the impacts of the climate crisis are being acutely felt, from the devastating bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef to the horrific wildfires tearing across my own country. A great many people know in their hearts that now is the time for bold action. Yet political leadership is still lacking — and nowhere more so than in Australia,” said Klein.
The Sydney Peace Prize is in its nineteenth year of running.
Last year, the prize was won by Australian artist and activist George Gittoes who documented places which had experienced conflict and social upheaval through art and film.
Klein will travel to Australia to receive her prize at the Sydney Town Hall on November 11.