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Environment

Ellie Goulding’s Got a New Job: as a Global UN Ambassador for the Environment

 Ellie Goulding is not just any pop star. The Hereford-born singer is a climate change warrior, outspoken feminist, and was even voted the UK’s Hottest Vegetarian in 2015.

But now the Grammy-nominated artist has a new notch on her belt: she’s been unveiled as a UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador.

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Goulding, 30, announced her brand new role at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, close to the UN Environment headquarters, just weeks after she collected a UN Global Leadership Award.  It will involve fighting to protect the habitats and lives of people and animals all over the world, by cleaning up air and sea pollution, as well as tackling climate change.

“It’s a huge honour to become a UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador,” Goulding said. “Yes, we face huge global challenges, but we are also taking game-changing steps forward and that should inspire us.”

“My focus will be on amplifying the activism of young people committed to creating a bright future,” she continued. “I want as many people as possible to become advocates for the planet.”

Goulding’s CV is impressive. Forget the hits for a second — she has a powerful record of activism all over the world, and has shown many times over that she means what she says: that empowering young people to action is the best way to inspire a movement. In July, Goulding performed at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, as international stars Coldplay, Shakira, and Pharrell Williams lit up the city on the eve of the G20 summit. She also performed at the Global Citizen Festival 2016 in New York City — joining Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and tens of thousands of Global Citizens in Central Park.

“Today’s young people make up the single largest generation that the world has ever seen, and when given opportunities and support, they can be powerful catalysts for change,” said UN Environment head Erik Solheim.

“Ellie is a powerful new environmental advocate, who I know truly connects with and inspires youth around the world,” he added. “This is critical for making change happen. Together, we can do amazing things.”

Read More: Ellie Goulding Is Headlining a One-Night-Only Concert to Help London’s Homeless — and You Can Be a Part of It

Goulding’s new role begins on Monday, as she attends the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi with over 2,000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials, and civil society representatives.

Air pollution is a big deal on the assembly agenda. It’s the single biggest environmental killer globally, causing 6.5 million deaths every single year. The UN is running a campaign called Breathe Life to create clean city air by 2030, which Goulding has now officially backed. You can find out more on its nifty website, which lets you see how the air in your city impacts your health according to official guidelines. Spoiler: if you’re in London, you might need to sit down — air pollution kills 9,500 people annually in England’s capital.

It wasn’t just the giraffes that were seemingly thrilled by the appointment either. Goulding’s fans — always out in force fighting for causes the singer believes in — backed her up big time on Twitter.

But there’s more. Goulding is also performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London next week to add to the £230,000 she’s already helped raised for homelessness charity Streets of London — and she’s bringing friends. Last year’s show saw Laura Mvula and Jack Garratt join Goulding on stage. This time round, anything could happen.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal #13, for climate action. Take action with us here.