New York: Greta Thunberg, the soft-spoken Swedish teen has been chosen as Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2019, the magazine announced Wednesday.

The 16-year-old Thunberg quickly bloomed into one of the world's most notable and youngest climate change activists, sparking a collective movement to fight climate change after protesting alone outside the Swedish parliament during school hours on Fridays when she was 15. The teen held up a now universally recognized hand-painted sign that read “skolstrejk för klimatet,” which translates to “School strike for the Climate.”

Photo: Time

The young activist sailed for just over two weeks on a zero-emission boat with her father in August to attend the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City and to meet with various politicians.

When she appeared before Congress, Thunberg refused to read prepared remarks and instead submitted a 2018 United Nations global warming report to lawmakers telling them, “I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists, and I want you to unite behind the science."

One of her most notable appearances occurred at the UN Climate Change Summit in September when she excoriated global leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by telling them they had “stolen her dreams and childhood” with their “empty words.”

The magazine cover has a picture of Thunberg with the subtitle "The Power of Youth."

"We can't just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow. That is all we are saying," Thunberg told Time.

The magazine interviewed Thunberg aboard the sailboat that took her from the United States to Europe after a hectic 11-week North American trip to several US cities and Canada.

Thunberg has taken her disarmingly straightforward message  "listen to the scientists" to global decision-makers, accusing them of inaction.

The Swedish activist was in Madrid as the award was announced, at a UN climate forum tasked with saving the world from runaway global warming.

"The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and Thunberg has no magic solution," Time wrote in the interview.

"But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change.

"She has offered a moral clarion call to those who are willing to act, and hurled shame on those who are not."