Greta Thunberg donated $1,000,000 of prize money to aid COVID-19 relief and climate change

AP Photo/Olivier Matthys

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg recently won the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, which came with a prize pot equaling $1.15 million. But the 17-year-old won’t be keeping the money for herself. She revealed on Twitter that she’ll donate the entire amount to worthwhile causes.

“This means a lot to me and I hope that it will help me do more good in the world,” Thunberg said, according to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which presented her with the prize.

“[A]ll the prize money will be donated through my foundation to different organizations and projects who are working to help people on the frontlines affected by the climate crisis and ecological crisis, especially in the global south.”

For starters, Thunberg will donate €100,000 ($115,000) to the SOS Amazonia campaign, led by Fridays for Future in Brazil, which is helping contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Amazon. Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas and the main reference health center for most of the Amazon rainforest’s traditional peoples, has experienced more than 100 COVID-19 deaths per day — and that doesn’t include unconfirmed cases.

Thunberg will also give €100,000 ($115,000) to the Stop Ecocide Foundation to support the group’s work in making ecocide (mass damage and destruction of nature) an international crime.

The Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity is awarded annually to people, groups and/or organizations around the world “whose contributions to mitigation and adaptation to climate change stand out for its novelty, innovation and impact.”

Thunberg, the winner of the first edition, was chosen from 136 nominees from 46 different countries.

“The way Greta Thunberg has been able to mobilize younger generations for the cause of climate change and her tenacious struggle to alter a status quo that persists, makes her one of the most remarkable figures of our days,” said Jorge Sampaio, chair of the grand jury of the prize.

This isn’t the first time Thunberg has made sizable donations to good causes. In April, she gave $100,000 of prize money to UNICEF. It’s no surprise she’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — twice.

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