Greta Thunberg has been named Time’s Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019. The Swedish teenager is one of the world’s most notable and youngest climate emergency activists.
In the announcement, the magazine said: "For decades, researchers and activists have struggled to get world leaders to take the climate threat seriously. But this year, an unlikely teenager somehow got the world's attention."
“She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation."
In a very short time Greta became a global conscience for climate change and environmental activism. She called the journalists' attention after protesting alone outside the Swedish parliament during school hours when she was 15. Her initiative and determination encouraged thousands of students to protest for climate justice all around the world and organise the “Fridays For Future” movement.
Greta’s wisdom and powerful words could not be ignored by world leaders. She spoke in front of the world’s most prominent politicians and business owners, including the United Nations and the United States Congress, as well as World Economic Forum.
Greta said she heard about climate change at 8 years old and she became instantly concerned about the environment. She said during her TED Talk: “I remember thinking that it was very strange that humans that are an animal species, among others, could be capable of changing the Earth’s climate.”
She is vegan - she gave up eating meat and she doesn’t travel by plane due to the environmental concerns. She sailed to the USA with her father on a zero-emissions boat to attend U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York where she gave one of her most memorable speeches: “I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists, and I want you to unite behind the science.”
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!.” - she said.
Greta admits she was "a bit surprised" by the award, and added she wanted to dedicate it to all young activists.