Teen activist Greta Thunberg has been named the 'Person of the Year' by TIME magazine.
Taking to Twitter, Edward Felsenthal, the editor-in-chief and CEO of TIME wrote, "For sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have ... for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads, Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year”.
Earlier this year, Thunberg's impassioned speech at the UN Climate Action Summit went viral, making people around the world take heed of the growing urgency of the climate crisis as well as the 16-year-old activist.
But even before that, Thunberg had begun a protest in her hometown. At that time, she was protesting solo -- a school strike for the environment outside the Swedish Parliament with a hand-painted poster. While it was slow to gain momentum, her actions have gradually sparked a worldwide movement.
Change, the magazine said in an article that explained their reasoning behind choosing Thunberg, rarely happens without the "galvanizing force of influential individuals".
"...in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Greta Thunberg. Marshaling “Fridays for Future” protests throughout Europe; thundering, “How dare you!” at the world’s most powerful leaders in her viral U.N. speech; leading some 7 million climate strikers across the world in September and tens of thousands more in Madrid in early December, Thunberg has become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet—and the avatar of a broader generational shift in our culture that is playing out everywhere from the campuses of Hong Kong to the halls of Congress in Washington,"magazine wrote.
On Wednesday, Thunberg spoke at a UN climate change summit, calling upon world leaders to stop using "clever accounting and creative PR" to avoid real action on climate change. She reportedly accused world leaders of making constant attempts to find loopholes to avoid making substantial changes.
"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," the 16-year-old Swede told the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid, drawing applause.