Being an activist in Russia today is very hard, there is an extremely high risk of imprisonment, there is a lack of resources and unfortunately, there’s a lack of support from society.
Acceptance speech – Vladimir Slivyak
I’m honoured to receive this prize for the work that I and Ecodefense have been doing over the last 30 years. This work was always focused around defending the environmental rights of people. And I want to thank my colleagues from Russia present here today – without you, it wouldn’t have been possible to stop all these nuclear power plants and the coal mines and to teach thousands of kids and children in schools about the environment.
Now is a very important time, we have to transform society in order to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. We need to phase out fossil fuel in the near future and we have to be very careful about technologies that we let in instead of fossil fuels. We shouldn’t let nuclear power get the place of fossil fuels because it’s also a very dangerous technology. We need to be developing renewable energy.
And this is the time when the world really needs activism. Because the activists are the people who actually make a change.
I want to dedicate this prize to all activists in Russia who are tirelessly fighting for the climate, against coal, against nuclear and other bad technologies. We are living in a very difficult time when the Russian political regime is putting heavy pressure on civil society. The most important human rights group in Russia – Memorial – is about to be closed down by the Russian government now. Keep watching this. There is a very important court case going on right now in Russia.
Being an activist in Russia today is very hard, there is an extremely high risk of imprisonment, there is a lack of resources and unfortunately, there’s a lack of support from society. At the same time, a lot of very important changes in society happened only because activists have been there and did their very hard work. Activism is what truly changes the world, but activism also needs to be protected and supported.
Let’s make all possible efforts to honour and protect activists. Let’s celebrate activism worldwide and make the world a better place and let’s avoid climate change.