The teenage climate change activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, has been named TIME’s Person of the Year for 2019.
TIME Magazine revealed their choice on the Today show Wednesday morning on NBC.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2019
The 16-year-old is the youngest person in the history, as well as the first teen named TIME’s Person of the Year since the magazine started naming people of the year in 1927, the next youngest being Charles Lindbergh, who was 25 at the time.
“She became the biggest voice on the biggest issues facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement,” TIME’s editor in chief Edward Felsenthal said on Today.
Felsenthal also wrote a post explaining the reason behind Thunberg’s pick, saying, “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.”
Thunberg first came onto the scene in 2018 when she began skipping school to protest outside the Swedish parliament building naming it “school strike for climate,” according to a biography. (RELATED: Local Pastor Of Swedish Church Claims Jesus Christ Appointed Greta Thunberg As His ‘Successor’)
She also made waves in August of 2019 when she sailed a “zero emissions sailboat” across the Atlantic to New York City. She did this as a statement before she made a speech at the United Nations a month later.
Climate activist @GretaThunberg arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday after crossing the Atlantic from New York aboard a catamaran ahead of her appearance at the #COP25 summit in Madrid to demand urgent action on global warming https://t.co/ySTwLeVxCo pic.twitter.com/TLtGHEx6F1
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2019
Thunberg’s emotional speech to the U.N. also went viral saying, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. 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!” as reported by NPR.
Earlier this year, Thunberg was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She has even had a mural painted of her in San Francisco. (RELATED: Here’s How San Fransisco’s Greta Thunberg Mural Impacts The Environment)
TIME picked Thunberg out of a final list of five people: Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, The Whistleblower, and the protesters in Hong Kong, according to TODAY.