POLITICS

Greta Thunberg Will Set Sail Once Again En Route To The UN’s Biggest Climate Conference

"We sail for Europe tomorrow morning!" the 16-year-old activist said after securing a ride across the Atlantic.

Teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg will soon set sail once again after a whirlwind tour of North America that saw her lead some of the planet’s biggest climate protests and hold world leaders’ feet to the fire over their inaction to address our warming world.

Thunberg said on social media that she would join the crew of a 48-foot catamaran en route to Spain on Wednesday, hoping to make it to the country in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP25), which is set to take place in Madrid in early December.

Earlier this month, Thunberg said she was looking for another ride back to Europe after traveling “half around the world, the wrong way.” The Australian couple who have been sailing the world on the boat dubbed La Vagabonde, offered up the vessel after responding to Thunberg’s message on Twitter.

“As #COP25 has officially been moved from Santiago to Madrid I’ll need some help,” the 16-year-old wrote. “Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November… If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful.”

Thunberg has been in North America since late August after traveling to the U.S. aboard an emissions-free racing yacht to join an international day of climate action that became one of the biggest environmental protests in history. The teen doesn’t travel via plane, citing the high carbon emissions.

“I decided to sail to highlight the fact that you can’t live sustainably in today’s society,” Thunberg told The New York Times on Tuesday, just before her journey was set to begin. “You have to go to the extreme.”

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, aboard a catamaran docked in Hampton, Virginia, on Tuesday.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, aboard a catamaran docked in Hampton, Virginia, on Tuesday.

In the intervening months, she has become a beacon of climate activism. Thunberg led protests in New York inspired by her school strike for the climate in her native Sweden last year. During an address before the United Nations, she excoriated world leaders, saying they had “stolen” her dreams with their “empty words.”

“I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean,” Thunberg said at a climate action summit. “Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you!”

She later met with former President Barack Obama (who called her one of the “planet’s greatest advocates”), the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and had a brief run-in with President Donald Trump, who has spent years rolling back America’s environmental laws.

Thunberg had initially intended to stay on this side of the Atlantic for much longer, eventually making her way to Chile, where this year’s U.N. climate summit was meant to be held. But the event was moved to Spain after protests broke out in Santiago, leaving Thunberg in a tough spot with limited time to arrange other eco-friendly travel.

The Times noted that the journey to Spain should take about three weeks, ideally getting her to Madrid when the COP kicks off on Dec. 2.

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