It might not come as a surprise to many, but Greta Thunberg has been named Time’s Person of the Year for 2019. The 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist has taken the world by storm, putting a young face on the climate crisis and crusading to raise global awareness of the imminent danger of global warming.
Thunberg, who started her movement by skipping school every Friday to stand in front of the Swedish Parliament holding a sign that read “School Strike for Climate,” has inspired youth from all over the world to strike in the name of addressing climate change. This was the catalyst for the global climate strike in September, when millions of people protested across the world.
“In the 16 months since [the global climate strike],” Time wrote, “she has addressed heads of state at the UN, 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.”
Despite being one of the most prominent and recognizable climate advocates — and now Person of the Year — Thunberg has always maintained that she doesn’t want any celebrity. In September, she told US lawmakers, “I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists. I want you to unite behind the science and I want you to take real action.”
She may not want the spotlight, but knowing that she won the title over Donald Trump, who was also being considered, probably feels pretty good.