The news magazine declared the 16-year-old Swede — who quickly bloomed into one of the world’s most notable climate change activists and inspired millions of young people to take action against global warming — as its choice on Wednesday, Presstv Reported.
“For sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have, for bringing to a fragmented world a voice that transcends backgrounds and borders, for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads, Greta Thunberg is Time’s 2019 Person of the Year,” Time said on its website.
Thunberg launched a collective movement to combat climate change after staging solo protests outside the Swedish parliament during school hours on Fridays when she was 15, pushing for her government to meet its ambitious goals to curb carbon emissions.
Known for her blunt and straightforward speaking manner, Thunberg has been asked to speak at several high-profile events, including at the United Nations (UN) and the US Congress, to urge immediate action against what she describes as a global climate crisis.
“In the 16 months since her protests began, she has addressed heads of state at the UN, met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike,” the news magazine said, further explaining its reasons.
One of Thunberg’s most notable appearances was at the UN Climate Change Summit in September, when she censured global leaders, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, by telling them they had “stolen her dreams and childhood” with their “empty words.”
The other finalists for Time’s title of the year were US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US President Donald Trump, the protesters in Hong Kong, and the anonymous whistle-blower whose memo on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine triggered an impeachment inquiry.
Time originally launched its “Person of the Year” feature in 1927. Sometimes, it has chosen controversial winners, such as Adolf Hitler in 1938, and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942.
Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident journalist who was killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul last October, took the title in 2018.