Greta Thunberg is the youngest person to be named the Person of the Year by TIME.
Time magazine named Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year on Wednesday.
This is the first time the magazine has honored a teenager, which makes the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist the youngest person to ever be named. The youngest recipient before Thunberg was 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
The accolade goes to the person or persons who “most influenced the news and the world” in the past year.
On a short list of finalists were President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry, and protesters confronting the Chinese government in Hong Kong.
Thunberg, who spoke before the United Nations Climate Action Summit this year, has become a symbol for young people across the world protesting climate change inaction.
Time said it named Thunberg 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 background and borders” and “for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads.”
This isn’t the first time the magazine chose its Person of the Year as a nod to climate change. Time named Endangered Earth as Person of the Year in 1988.
Thunberg took the world by storm by organizing the Global Climate Strike in September, in which millions participated in a worldwide strike.
Also in September, Greta gave an impassioned speech before the United Nations Climate Action Summit in which she scolded world leaders for not acting quickly and decisively to combat climate change.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean,” she said.
“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing … and all you talk about is money and eternal fairy tales of economic growth. How dare you?”
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In the United States, Thunberg participated in climate protests in New York; Iowa City, Iowa; Los Angeles; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Denver.
She also testified before Congress in September. Thunberg testified on the global climate crisis before a joint hearing of two House committees.
During the hearing, she had a simple message for American lawmakers: Do something.
Last year, Time named a group of journalists as its persons of the year for 2018. Collectively called “the guardians of truth,” the magazine published covers honoring each of the recipients, which included murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Contributing: Jeanine Santucci and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; the Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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