Greta Thunberg has revealed she makes no income from her work as a climate activist.
The 19-year-old – who has built a reputation for challenging world leaders on their environmental policies, became the youngest Time Person of the Year in 2019 and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for three consecutive years – said her only form of income was the student grant she received for going to university.
Ms Thunberg, who is from Sweden, will publish a new book later this month that compiles information from experts across the world on how we can tackle the climate crisis.
In a new interview with The Times, Ms Thunberg said the project, The Climate Book, would earn her no money.
“The proceeds that I will make will go to charity,” Ms Thunberg said, adding that she hoped the donation would open up conversation around the causes she helps.
“It would be nice to have money, but by donating... for example, if I donate it to rewilding or nature conservation, I can start a debate on that. If I donate to refugees, you can talk about why – and then you can explain.”
When asked to clarify if she would earn any money at all, Ms Thunberg said: “If I translate the book from English into Swedish [Ms Thunberg writes in English], then I can get some kind of reimbursement for the time I spend doing that, because I’m not doing it for promotion. It’s like a… specific job.”
Despite Ms Thunberg’s widespread fame, she disclosed that she did not consider herself an influencer or indulge in any of the “perks” that come with fame.
“When it comes to artists or influencers, they can earn money without people being mad at them, but I can’t,” Ms Thunberg said, adding that she rarely took taxis and did not have any security.
“I book my own trains and where I stay. I always bring my own food. For example, I could just eat bread, plain bread, every day.”
Commenting on a conspiracy theory that she has a secret fortune of more than $1m (£900,000), Ms Thunberg said: “That is because I won an award that was worth €1m.
“I have won many awards that are worth even more, but I’ve donated all my money. Of course, they don’t care about that.”
The Climate Book will be released on 27 October.
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