Prominent climate change activist Naomi Klein has been awarded the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize for her efforts to bring attention to the issue.
Source:
AAP
14 May 2016 - 2:34 PM  UPDATED 14 May 2016 - 2:34 PM

Canadian author and journalist Naomi Klein has taken out one of Australia's most prestigious awards for social justice for her climate action advocacy.

Klein, a prominent campaigner for climate justice whose 2014 book This Changes Everything argued for an economy built away from carbon, has been announced as this year's Sydney Peace Prize winner.

She says it is a "tremendous honour".

"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," she said in a statement.

The award's jurors said Klein, who also penned the 1999 anti-globalisation classic No Logo, had highlighted "the power of authentic democracy" to achieve change.

"She challenges feelings of powerlessness, apathy and confusion, and inspires people to demand a leap towards a society based on caring for each other and for the earth," Sydney Peace Foundation chairman David Hirsch said in a statement.

"We think that Klein's message is one that Australians really want and need to hear."

She was also praised for exposing those most responsible for climate change, and she used Saturday's announcement as an opportunity to take a swipe at Australia for its perceived inaction.

"A great many people know in their hearts that now is the time for bold action," she said.

"Yet political leadership is still lacking and nowhere more so than in Australia."

Previous winners of the Sydney Peace Prize include Archbishop Desmond Tutu and US leftist academic Noam Chomsky.

She made her first trip back to Australia in 14 years last year to speak at Sydney's Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

"What we need to do is tax those with the most in order to pay for this transition [from fossil fuel to sustainable energy industries] and in Australia, we're seeing the exact opposite with carbon and mining taxes being repealed," she told Australian audiences in September.

Klein will accept the award when she delivers the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize lecture in November.