Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Sets Up Nonprofit Aimed At Fighting Climate Change

Youth activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations on September 23, 2019 in New York City. While the United States will not be participating, China and about 70 other countries are expected to make announcements concerning climate change. The summit at the U.N. comes after a worldwide Youth Climate Strike on Friday, which saw millions of young people around the world demanding action to address the climate crisis.
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Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist who shot to fame in 2018 for skipping school every Friday to protest outside the Swedish parliament, has set up a nonprofit to promote ecological and social sustainability.

She has used the $102,062 (1 million Swedish Krona) prize money she received after winning the Right Livelihood Award to set up the Greta Thunberg Foundation, according to AOL. The award, which is also known as the “alternative Nobel Prize” goes toward “honoring and supporting courageous people solving global problems.”

Thunberg first announced her plans to start a foundation on Instagram in January, adding that she had applied to trademark her name and the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement she created. The movement began in August 2018 when she sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks with a ‘School Strike for the Climate’ sign to protest against the government’s lack of action to combat the impacts of climate change.

Led by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C), young activists and their supporters rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. Thousands of young people across the globe are participating in a day of protest calling for urgent action to fight climate change in what organizers are calling the Global Climate Strike.
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The young activist presented her ideas for a foundation to the Right Livelihood Foundation at the end of 2019, and shortly after, her prize money was transferred to enable the establishment of the Greta Thunberg Foundation. Thunberg, who experienced severe depression as a preteen, will also promote mental health issues through her foundation.

“Both urgent and long-term actions are needed to stop climate change and create societies that are sustainable from multiple perspectives,” Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Foundation, said in a statement. “Mental illness is a growing problem around the world, which is often overlooked. We are convinced that Thunberg’s new foundation will have a great impact and empower much-needed change.”

In her Instagram post, Thunberg said she was setting up the foundation to handle the money she gets from book royalties, donations and prizes “in a transparent way.” That would include monies from her debut novel, No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, which features a selection of 11 of Thunberg’s self-written key speeches.

Thunberg affirmed on Instagram that her foundation would be “strictly nonprofit” and that she had “no interest in philanthropy.”

At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Thunberg grilled world leaders for being slow to reduce CO2 emissions, saying “pretty much nothing has been done” and urging them to understand that they were in a race against the clock.

“With today’s emissions levels, the remaining budget is gone in less than eight years. These aren’t anyone’s views—this is the science,” Thunberg said.