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Greta Thunberg has been named TIME magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year.

The 16-year-old climate activist, who is the youngest person to ever scoop the honor, has become increasingly prolific over the last year for encouraging students globally to attend demonstrations demanding political action on climate change while ‘on strike’ from school. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, as well as becoming the first recipient of the prestigious Prix Liberté and picking up other prizes.

Talking to TIME about her mission, Thunberg said: “We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow. That is all we are saying.”

‘Meaningful change’

“Meaningful change rarely happens without the galvanizing force of influential individuals, and in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Greta Thunberg,” TIME editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“Thunberg has become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet – and the avatar of a broader generational shift in our culture that is playing out everywhere from the campuses of Hong Kong to the halls of Congress in Washington…. this was the year the climate crisis went from behind the curtain to center stage, from ambient political noise to squarely on the world’s agenda, and no one did more to make that happen than 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 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.”

The cover features a portrait by photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva for TIME of Thunberg in Lisbon on December 4. 

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.