How Greta Thunberg's critics reacted to her Time Person of the Year honour

Greta Thunberg's naming as Time magazine's person of the year for 2019 has upset her opponents, but one high-profile critic of the Swedish teen has offered a gracious congratulations. 

Thunberg, 16, got the nod ahead of nine others on the shortlist, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the Hong Kong protesters and US President Donald Trump.

The latter, who received the honour in 2016, has remained conspicuously quiet on the matter - leaving it to his son to take up the fight.

Donald Trump Jr accused Time of leaving "out the Hong Kong Protesters fighting for their lives and freedoms to push a teen being used as a marketing gimmick".

"How dare you?" he questioned, using a phrase Thunberg famously used at the United Nations in September.

Trump Jr has rarely spoken about his views on climate change in public, but his dad doesn't believe it's a threat and is pulling the US out of the historic Paris Agreement to reduce emissions. 

Trump Jr hasn't really shown concern for the Hong Kong protests before either. His sole previous tweet mentioning them was to criticise Hillary Clinton and China's state media.

The US President in 2017 said he was offered the Person of the Year honour, but it was rescinded when he refused an interview and photo shoot. Time said there was "not a speck of truth" in Trump's claims. In 2015 he complained publicly when he missed out on the honour to German leader Angela Merkel.

In contrast to Trump Jr, UK motoring show host Jeremy Clarkson offered Thunberg his congratulations.

The 59-year-old former Top Gear host, who in September called Thunberg a "spoilt brat" and in November accused her of "killing the car show", was gracious.

"Congrats to @GretaThunberg from the old dinosaur," he wrote on Twitter. "I think her dream is unrealistic but it's hers and it's shared by millions of others."

The petrolhead's respectful reaction shocked his followers.

"That's almost sweet Jeremy, I don't like it," said one. "Blink twice if you're the real Jeremy," wrote another.

Clarkson recently admitted he now believes in human-caused climate change, after seeing the effects first-hand while filming a TV series in southeast Asia.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who like Trump has faced severe criticism over his environmental policies, is yet to comment publicly on Thunberg's win - but the day before called her a "pirralha", which reportedly translates to "brat".

At 16, Thunberg is easily the youngest person ever to receive the honour, which has been handed out annually since 1927. Previous winners include Richard Nixon, Jeff Bezos, Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis and Mark Zuckerberg.