Founder, Rise Up Movement, Young Leader for the UN SDGs
Vanessa Nakate, 24, is a climate activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement. She began striking for the climate in her home town of Kampala in January 2019, after witnessing droughts and flooding devastating communities in Uganda. She now campaigns internationally to highlight the impacts of climate change already playing out in Africa. She focuses particularly on how the climate crisis is exacerbating poverty, conflict and gender inequality, as well as promoting key climate solutions such as educating girls. Vanessa also runs a project to install solar panels and eco-friendly stoves in schools in rural communities.
Vanessa has appeared at high-level events including the 2019 UN Climate summit in Madrid, and the 2020 World Economic Forum, where she was cropped out of a photo of white climate activists by the Associated Press, sparking international outrage. In 2020, she was named one of the BBC's 100 Women of the year and one of the 100 most influential young Africans. Vanessa is also one of the Young Leaders for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.