Greta Thunberg has been named as TIME’s 2019 Person Of The Year in a year that’s been huge for climate change activism, mostly fronted by her.
With the likes of Extinction Rebellion taking over the headlines in the latter half of the year and people fighting back at the corporations and governments not doing enough to combat climate change, it’s no surprise that Greta Thunberg has gained one of the most prestigious titles of the year.
Very much the poster girl for a new generation of people who want better for the world, and a glimmer of hope in an otherwise industrious, capitalist and dying planet, Thunberg has captured the imaginations of the public in a way no-one would have thought possible.
Starting off by striking from school until something was done about the environmental decline, Thunberg went on to conduct speeches at the UN Climate Change Conference in New York, addressing world leaders personally, a huge moment for anyone, let alone a 16-year-old.
It got to the point where the climate change activist was in line to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but she ultimately missed out on that particular award.
With that in mind, the 16-year-old has been named TIME’s person of the year, with her picture on the front cover alongside the caption The Power Of Youth.
In an article that explained why Thunberg has been named as the Person of the Year Edward Felsenthal, TIME’s editor-in-chief wrote:
“When she first heard about global warming as an 8-year-old, Thunberg says she thought, ‘That can’t be happening, because if that were happening, then the politicians would be taking care of it.’
“That they weren’t is precisely what motivated her to act, as it has youth the world over who are forcing us to confront the peril of our own inaction, from the student-led protests on the streets of Santiago, Chile, to the young democracy activists fighting for rights and representation in Hong Kong to the high schoolers from Parkland, Fla., whose march against gun violence Thunberg cites as an inspiration for her climate strikes.
“Thunberg demands action, and though far too many key measures are still moving in the wrong direction, there are nascent signs that action is coming.
“Corporate commitments to sustainable growth and net-zero emissions are on the rise. More than 60 countries have pledged to have a net carbon footprint of zero by 2050. American primary voters, especially in states beset by wildfires and flooding, are suddenly giving presidential candidates an earful on climate change.
“In Austria’s September elections, the Green Party more than tripled its support at the expense of the Social Democrats, a development a leader of the Social Democrats attributed to Thunberg – just before he resigned. Even as China burns half the world’s coal, it too is changing. It’s now home to roughly 45% of the electric cars and 99% of the electric buses in the world.”
Congratulations to TIME’s youngest ever person of the year.
Images via TIME, Getty