- Title: 'Her sharpest weapon is shame' - Time says of Person of the Year Thunberg
- Date: 11th December 2019
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF THUNBERG ARRIVING BY ZERO-CARBON-EMISSION SAILBOAT IN NEW YORK AFTER TRANSATLANTIC JOURNEY
- Embargoed: 25th December 2019 15:53
- Keywords: Greta Person of the Year Time Magazine activist climate
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNITED NATIONS / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNITED NATIONS / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA006B9J98W7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: For pulling "climate change from the sidelines into center stage", Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who inspired millions of young people to take action against climate change, has been named Time 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 curb 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.
"Sixteen months ago, she was sitting alone outside the Swedish parliament. She had just come out of this period of deep depression. She had very few friends. She rarely spoke. She was, in some ways, in a very dark place. And now, a little over a year later, she's at the head of a global movement to address climate change that prompted 4 million people worldwide to protest on a single day. That's the largest climate protest in human history," said Time national correspondent Charlotte Alter.
Thunberg is the youngest individual to have won the accolade.
Thunberg, who turns 17 in January, is currently in Madrid at a United Nations climate summit where world leaders are wrangling over how to implement a 2015 Paris agreement designed to avert potentially catastrophic global warming.
Thunberg's uncompromising stance has brought her into confrontation with some of the world's most powerful people.
A video of her giving U.S. President Donald Trump what media described as a "death stare" at a U.N. climate summit in New York in September went viral on social media.
Trump has questioned climate science and has challenged every major U.S. regulation aimed at combating climate change.
During a speech at around the same time, she bristled with anger.
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?" she told delegates.
"Her sharpest weapon is shame," said Alter. "When she looks at adults and she says, 'how dare you? How dare you leave us this planet in this condition?' - that's a paraphrase - she's really going for the gut there. And few other activists have been able to harness the emotional power of that argument."
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro this week called Thunberg a "brat" after she criticized mounting violence against indigenous people in which two Amazon tribesmen were shot dead.
The activist retorted by changing the biographical description on her Twitter account to "Pirralha," the Portuguese word Bolsonaro used to insult her.
(Production: Catherine Koppel)
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