It's been a pretty busy year for climate change activist, Greta Thunberg.
The teen bagged the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, which is widely known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," for her pioneering work in the youth climate change movement, scooping up a pretty impressive cash prize and just this week, TIME Magazine honored Thunberg with their most prestigious title.
Now Thunberg has pledged that 2020 must be a year of action, and that she will put 'world leaders against the wall' if they do not tackle climate change.
Keep scrolling to find out exactly what she said...
Greta Thunberg has become the face of the youth climate change movement.
Just a year ago, she was relatively unknown.
via: TwitterGreta would regularly sit on her own outside Swedish parliament, first staging a "School Strike for Climate" in August last year. In the weeks leading up to the country’s general election, Thunberg sat on the steps outside of the parliament building in Stockholm, holding up the now-iconic sign that read “Skolstrejk För Klimatet" — translating to “school strike for climate."
The teen sat outside the building during school hours for 3 weeks.Paris Agreement. By sacrificing her education to protest for action, the teen began to conjure up attention and gain traction online.
Her unwavering commitment to the environment has woken the rest of the world.
Thunberg is known for delivering blistering, matter-of-fact speeches about the urgency of what she calls the "climate crisis."
Her message is clear: we need to act now.According to the United Nations, humanity has under twelve years to prevent a climate change crisis. A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the end of 2018 called for immediate “unprecedented changes" to all aspects of society.
If we do not act, the future, if there is one at all, will be very bleak.
Thunberg has gone to great lengths to fight her cause.
Little by little, her trailblazing activism seems to be sinking in.Live Kindly, earlier this year, Mohammed Barkindo — the secretary-general of OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) — acknowledged public opinion surrounding the climate crisis as a threat to the oil industry.
And her youth school strike movement is growing on a mass scale.
But, Thunberg's movement has been met with waves of criticism.
But her critics don't phase her...
On my way to the United Nations. Today I’m speaking in the General Assembly at the Climate Action Summit. This is s… https://t.co/MXRAyXjec0— Greta Thunberg (@Greta Thunberg)1569243289.0
The event is dedicated to world leaders sharing climate solutions and new pledges for climate action.
As she spoke, the teen got visibly emotional.
via: YouTube"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!" She continued: "How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you are doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight." "You say you 'hear' us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that."
She concluded with a poignant message: change is coming, whether you like it or not.
via: YouTube"You are failing us. But young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. "We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not."
After her speech, the teen activist happened to cross paths with Donald Trump in the lobby.
I’ll tell you one thing Greta Thunberg does not have and that’s a future in professional poker. https://t.co/cAznzjWbeW— 🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈 (@🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈)1569308707.0
The video went viral online.When faced with one of the world's most powerful leaders, Thunberg remained fearless, and her death stare has become something of an internet sensation.
As you'd expect, Donald Trump had something to say about the whole thing.In usual Trump-style, he took to Twitter to seemingly mock the teen, writing, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!" above a video of her speech.
His swipe radiated sarcasm.
@realDonaldTrump The President of the United States making a sarcastic, snide comment to make fun of a 16-year-old… https://t.co/GOHBf2wpum— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1569296379.0
It's been a busy year for the teen.2019 Right Livelihood Award, which is widely known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize."
Thunberg was honored with the prize for her "inspiring" work.he Right Livelihood Foundation, "Thunberg is the powerful voice of a young generation that will have to bear the consequences of today's political failure to stop climate change."
Thunberg joined 3 other winners who bagged the award too.Brazilian indigenous leader, Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people, Chinese women’s rights lawyer, Guo Jianmei, and Western Sahara human rights defender, Aminatou Haidar also share the award with the teen.
Thunberg, along with the other winners, scooped up a pretty impressive cash prize.According to Reuters, the 4 winners will each receive a cash award of one million Swedish krona ($103,000).
Here's how Thunberg reacted to her win...
Although she was quick to say that she isn't the sole winner.
Soon after, it was announced Thunberg's award season wasn't over.
via: Nordic CouncilShe was awarded a coveted Environmental Prize from the Nordic Council, which comes with a whopping $400,o00 cash prize.
But Thunberg had a rather unexpected reaction.While expressing gratitude for being chosen, she's also decided to turn down the award - and she took to social media to explain why.
Thunberg declined the award in a lengthy Instagram post.
"The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues."
"In Sweden, we live as if we had about 4 planets according to WWF and Global Footprint Network."
"The gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 1,5 or even 2 degrees - and politics that run the Nordic countries is gigantic."
"The Paris Agreement, which all of the Nordic countries have signed, is based on the aspect of equity, which means that richer countries must lead the way."
"Best wishes, Greta Thunberg."
Because Thunberg has been awarded the title of TIME's Person of the Year.Impressive in itself - but Thunberg also marks the youngest person ever to receive this title.
She beat out some fierce competition.Thunberg was honored over other nominees including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the CIA whistleblower who triggered Trump's impeachment proceedings, and Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters.
"She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement."
via: Time"She embodies youth activism. Her rise in influence has been really extraordinary. She was a solo protester with a hand-painted sign 14 months ago. She's now led millions of people around the world, 150 countries, to act on behalf of the planet, and she's really been a key driver this year taking this issue from backstage to center," said TIME's Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal.
Thunberg wasn't the only one honored.
via: TimeAlongside Person of the Year, TIME launched four new categories to celebrate other important figures from 2019, including the US women's soccer team and Lizzo.
"[Thunberg] also represents a broader generational shift in the culture that we're seeing from the campuses of Hong Kong to the protests in Chile to Parkland, Florida, where the students marched against gun violence, where young people are demanding change urgently."
Now she has vowed to take things further.
She said she will put leaders against the wall.Daily Mail. More specifically she said:
Unfortunately, we probably already know the outcome. World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities but we have to make sure they cannot do that. We will make sure that we put them against the wall and they will have to do their job to protect our futures.
The crowd went wild.
It is not fair that the older generation are handing over the responsibility to solve this crisis to us young people who have not started this crisis. It's not fair that we have to do all this.
She also explained:
The adults are behaving as if there is no tomorrow but there is a tomorrow, it is the tomorrow where our young people will live and we have to fight for that tomorrow. We can no longer take that tomorrow for granted. What we decide to do or not to do in this decade we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.