Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.
Thunberg, who turns 17 in January and who is known for her blunt, straightforward addresses to world leaders, has urged immediate action to address what she describes as the global climate crisis.
— TIME (@TIME) December 11, 2019
The teen’s climate activism went viral in 2018, delivered a scathing address to the UN General Assembly at the Climate Action Summit in New York City in September. She had traveled for nearly 14-days across the the Atlantic Ocean in a zero-emissions racing yacht to attend the conference.
“My message is that we will be watching you. This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean,” she added. “You have come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my childhood with empty words. Yet, I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said in an emotional speech at the UN General Assembly hall.
Days before appearing before the UN, Thunberg joined protesters in Washington, DC, who decried US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Earlier this year,Thunberg had been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
She is widely praised for mobilising students in her “Fridays for Future” weekly school strikes.
The movement officially began in August of 2018, after Thunberg spent three weeks sitting in front of the Swedish parliament demanding action on climate change during school days. Her actions, which she posted on social media, went viral and morphed into a weekly Friday protest.
The nomination came after the number of students taking part in the school strikes broke two million across 135 countries.
Thunberg was also named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine in May.