Greta Thunberg hitches ride across Atlantic with YouTubers

Posted on 13 November 2019

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg recently found herself up the creek without a paddle when a UN climate-change summit that she’s due to attend was moved from Chile to Spain.

Thunberg refuses to fly as the carbon footprint is too high and uses trains to travel from Sweden to other parts of Europe. In September, she sailed in a zero-emission yacht from her home continent to New York to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in the Big Apple.

Since then she’s been travelling across the USA and planned to make her way to Chile to attend this year’s most important climate summit, the UN COP25. However, the summit was moved to Spain due to unrest in Chile.


Greta appealed to sailors for a lift across the Atlantic through social media and received a response from Riley Whitelum, who said that he could help. Whitelum and Elayna Carausu are an Australian couple who travel the world on their yacht, with their 11-month-old son Lenny, and document their lives on YouTube and Instagram.

Also see: Trevor Noah interviews Greta Thunberg on climate change

Thunberg and her father leave today, Wednesday 13 November, from Hampton, Virginia, near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. They will be sailing with Whitelum, Carausu, baby Lenny and professional sailor Nikki Henderson on the Aussie couple’s 48-foot catamaran, La Vagabonde. Much like the first boat she sailed on, this one has a minimal carbon footprint, using solar panels and a hydro-generators for power.

It should take about three weeks to complete the journey, which means that she will be in time for the summit which begins on 2 December.

Speaking to The New York Times on Tuesday, Thunberg said ‘I decided to sail to highlight the fact that you can’t live sustainably in today’s society. You have to go to the extreme.’


Image: Greta Thunberg/Twitter

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