Whether humanity overcomes the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss depends on the courage and determination of ordinary people around the world standing up to governments and corporate interests, rallying their communities, and guiding us toward a more sustainable future. 

Already, countless activists are fighting to ensure that the planet remains a safe place for future generations. They're expelling mining operations from pristine forests, resisting the development of new oil pipelines, and regenerating coastlines degraded by industrial activities. 

But the challenges they face can be overwhelming and, at times, even dangerous. In fact, dozens of environmental activists are killed each year for their work, and many more are attacked, harassed, and intimidated. 

That's why organizations like the Goldman Environmental Prize exist — to bring awareness to the causes championed by grassroots environmental activists, while giving them an opportunity to expand, network, and secure necessary funding. 

This year's winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize — often referred to as the "Green Nobel" — take a holistic approach to defending the planet by protesting, community organizing, and launching legal efforts. 

You can learn more about the seven winners below and check out the Goldman Prize website for additional information.  

Nalleli Cobo, United States

Only 19, Cobo successfully campaigned for years against fossil fuel infrastructure in Los Angeles.  

Marjan Minnesma, The Netherlands

Minnesma spearheaded a lawsuit, backed by hundreds of organizations, against the Dutch government, demanding that it enact policies to achieve the Paris climate agreement.  

Alex Lucitante and Alexandra Narvaez, Ecuador

Lucitanta and Narvaez have successfully campaigned against mining projects in their ancestral territories.

Niwat Roykaew, Thailand

Roykaew successfully campaigned to end destructive industrial projects in the Mekong River.   

Julien Vincent, Australia

Vincent led a campaign to get Australia's largest banks to stop funding coal projects by 2030. 

Chima Williams, Nigeria

Williams fought on behalf of communities affected by oil spills for accountability from the fossil fuel giant Royal Dutch Shell.   


Defend the Planet

These 7 Environmental Activists Are Stopping Fossil Fuels, Pollution, and Habitat Loss

By Joe McCarthy