Greta Thunberg is named Time’s 2019 Person of the Year


BREAKING: Greta Thunberg, 16, is named Time’s 2019 Person of the Year becoming the youngest ever recipient of the title

  • The activist, 16, inspired the school strikes for the climate movement
  • She has become the face of the youth climate movement, drawing large crowds with her appearances at protests and conferences over the past year and a half 
  • Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said she ‘came from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement’, confirming she is their youngest ever choice

Greta Thunberg has been named Time’s 2019 Person of the Year, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the title. 

The activist, 16, inspired the school strikes for the climate movement.

She has become the face of the youth climate movement, drawing large crowds with her appearances at protests and conferences over the past year and a half.

Veteran campaigners and scientists have welcomed her activism, including her combative speeches challenging world leaders to do more to stop global warming.

Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told the Today show: ‘She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement.’

He confirmed she is the magazine’s youngest ever choice. Malala Yousafzai was runner up in 2012, losing out to Barack Obama, aged 15. 

Greta Thunberg has been named Time’s 2019 Person of the Year

Thunberg delivers a speech during the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid on Tuesday. She accused political and business leaders of polishing their images rather than taking aggressive action in the fight against climate change at the UN climate talks

Thunberg delivers a speech during the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid on Tuesday. She accused political and business leaders of polishing their images rather than taking aggressive action in the fight against climate change at the UN climate talks

Thunberg’s angry accusations that world leaders are failing the younger generation have made headlines, including her shouts of ‘How dare you?’ at the U.N. General Assembly earlier this year. 

Politicians have, by and large, praised Thunberg and her movement as an important voice of her generation.

‘We have all of the youth around the world that are marching and calling to our conscience. And they have moral authority,’ said former Vice President Al Gore, calling Thunberg ‘an absolutely fantastic leader.’ 

Editor Felsenthal said Thunberg ‘represents a broader generational shift in the culture’, adding: ‘She embodies youth activism’. 

On Tuesday Thunberg accused political and business leaders of polishing their images rather than taking aggressive action in the fight against climate change at the UN climate talks.

In a speech given at the COP25 talks in Madrid, Spain, the teenager also criticized governments for avoiding taking action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and ‘not behaving as if we are in an emergency’.

Greta, who inspired the school strikes for the climate movement, said: ‘The biggest danger is not inaction; the real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening, when in fact almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR.’

She said the science showed that, at the current rate of emissions, the world is set to use up the whole ‘carbon budget’ – the amount of pollution that can be put into the atmosphere and still keep global warming to 1.5C – in eight years.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, arrives in New York after a 15-day journey crossing the Atlantic in the Malizia II, a zero-carbon yacht in August

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, arrives in New York after a 15-day journey crossing the Atlantic in the Malizia II, a zero-carbon yacht in August  

Thunberg speaks at a climate protest outside the White House in September

Thunberg speaks at a climate protest outside the White House in September 

 

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