Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who inspired millions of young people to take action against climate change, has been namedTime Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.
Thunberg launched a grassroots campaign* aged 15 by skipping school every Friday to demonstrate outside Swedish parliament, pushing for her government to meet its ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions*.
Her actions quickly captured people’s imagination, and in September this year millions of people took to the streets in cities across the world to support her cause.
“In the 16 months since (her protests began), she has addressed heads of state at the United Nations*, met with the Pope, sparred* with the President of the United States and inspired four million people to join the global climate strike,”TimeMagazinesaid.
The Person of the Year award is an annual* issue of the United States news magazine that features and profiles a person, a group, an idea, or an object that “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence* the events of the year”.
Thunberg is the youngest individual to have won the honour.
The young activist, who turns 17 in January, is currently in Madrid at a United Nations climate summit where world leaders are discussing how to action the 2015 Paris agreement designed to stop potentially catastrophic*global warming*.
When told of the recognition, Thunberg said she was “a bit surprised”.
“I could never have imagined anything like that happening,” she said.
“I’m, of course, very grateful for that, very honoured,” Thunberg said, but added, “it should be everyone in the Fridays for Future movement* because what we have done, we have done together.”
grassroots campaign:many people working together to achieve a goal
carbon emissions:release of carbon dioxide gas which is thought to be harmful to the environment
United Nations:an international organisation formed in 1945 to increase political and economic co-operation among its member countries
annual:happens every year
global warming:rising temperatures across the world