Thunberg, 16, was lauded by Time for starting an environmental campaign in August 2018 which became a global movement, initially skipping school and camping out in front of the Swedish Parliament to demand action.
“In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the U.N., met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history,” the magazine said.
Well done Greta!!!! https://t.co/rRD2pal4iU— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 11, 2019
“Margaret Atwood compared her to Joan of Arc. After noticing a hundredfold increase in its usage, lexicographers at Collins Dictionary named Thunberg’s pioneering idea, climate strike, the word of the year,” Time said.
Thunberg, who turns 17 in January, continues to beat the drum, saying in Madrid last week that the voices of climate strikers are being heard but politicians are still not taking action.
The activist addressed the latest round of U.N. climate talks in Madrid Wednesday morning, bluntly criticizing world leaders for “negotiating loopholes” and using creating PR to make it appear they are achieving bold climate targets.
“Well I am telling you there is hope. I have seen it.— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 11, 2019
But it does not come from governments or corporations.
It comes from the people.”
Here’s a small part from my speech today at the #cop25 in Madrid. pic.twitter.com/Dg8pz969yS
But the reluctant celebrity, who has been chased by cameras and attracted large crowds at the Madrid conference, has urged the press to hear from other activists and indigenous youth instead.
Former Vice President Al Gore, a longtime environmentalist, said the magazine made a “brilliant choice.”
Brilliant decision for @TIME to choose @GretaThunberg as its Person of the Year. Greta embodies the moral authority of the youth activist movement demanding that we act immediately to solve the climate crisis. She is an inspiration to me and to people across the world.— Al Gore (@algore) December 11, 2019
“Greta embodies the moral authority of the youth activist movement demanding that we act immediately to solve the climate crisis. She is an inspiration to me and to people across the world,” Gore said.
Other nominees for person of the year included President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.