16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time's 2019 Person of the Year.
Thunberg, who began her activism by skipping school and camping out in front of the Swedish Parliament beginning in August 2018 in what she called "School Strike for Climate," gained international fame in September for sharply rebuking heads of state at the U.N. General Assembly with her viral "How dare you!" moment.
"You all come to us young people for hope? How dare you!" Thunberg said. "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words...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!"
Time credits Thunberg with kicking off a wave of youth activism worldwide:
"Thunberg's lonely strike outside Sweden's Parliament coincided with a surge of mass youth protests that have erupted around the world—all in different places, with different impacts, but fueled by a changing social climate and shifting economic pressures. In Hong Kong, young activists concerned by Beijing's tightening grip on the territory sparked a furious pro-democracy movement that has been going strong since June. In Iraq and Lebanon, young people dominate sweeping demonstrations against corruption, foreign interference and sectarian governance. The Madrid climate summit was moved from Chile because of huge protests over economic inequality that were kicked off by high school students. And in the U.S., young organizers opposed the Trump Administration on everything from immigration to health care and helped elect a new wave of equally young lawmakers."