Norway’s Nobel Institute, which does not confirm or deny the names of any particular individuals or organizations nominated, said on Wednesday it had received nominations for 317 candidates this year, up from 301 in 2019. Of these 210 were individuals and 107 were organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance.
Also on the list, according to the eight members of the United States Congress who nominated her, is imprisoned Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul.
People who can make nominations, including members of national parliaments, former laureates, and leading academics, often announce whose names they have forwarded.
The outcome is decided each year by a committee of five people appointed by Norway’s parliament. The winner will be announced in October.
Thunberg, 17, famous for launching her School Strike for the Climate campaign that has spread around much of the world, is the bookmakers’ favorite to win, according to betting firm Paddypower.
Although nominated last year, the 2019 prize went to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his peacemaking efforts which ended two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.
Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel awards winner in history, was pictured along with Thunberg this week at Britain’s University of Oxford, where Malala is a student.
While Thunberg’s name was put forward by two Swedish parliamentarians, three members of the Norwegian parliament have suggested that NATO - the military alliance that last year marked its 75th anniversary - should be given the award.
In January, members of Congress led by Oregon Democrat Suzanne Bonamici nominated Loujain al-Hathloul, whom rights groups have said was held in solitary confinement for months and subjected to abuse including electric shocks, flogging, and sexual assault.
“Ms. al-Hathloul is deserving of the Committee’s recognition in 2020 because she embodies the peaceful struggle for equal right of women in Saudi Arabia,” Bonamici and seven other members of Congress wrote in a letter and published online.