Greta Thunberg to sail on carbon-neutral boat to UN Climate Summit

Posted by Christi Nortier on 1 August 2019

Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate activist, will be sailing from the UK across the Atlantic on an emission-free racing yacht next month to cut the environmental impact of her journey to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York she is attending.

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‪Good news!‬ ‪I’ll be joining the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, COP25 in Santiago and other events along the way.‬ ‪I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II. We’ll be sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from the UK to New York in mid August.‬ The science is clear. We must start bending the emissions curve steeply downwards no later than 2020, if we still are to have a chance of staying below a 1,5 degrees of global temperature rise. We still have a window of time when things are in our own hands. But that window is closing fast. That is why I have decided to make this trip now. During the past year, millions of young people have raised their voice to make world leaders wake up to the climate and ecological crisis. Over the next months, the events in New York and Santiago de Chile will show if they have listened. Together with many other young people across the Americas and the world, I will be there, even if the journey will be long and challenging. We will make our voices heard. It is our future on the line, and we must at least have a say in it. The science is clear and all we children are doing is communicating and acting on that united science. And our demand is for the world to unite behind the science. ‪#UniteBehindTheScience‬

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

From New York, where she will attend meetings and protests, she will travel to the annual UN climate conference in Chile by train and bus, with stops in Canada, Mexico and others.

The 18m-long high-speed racing yacht, Malizia II, will take two weeks to reach New York City from the UK and leaves in mid-August.

The boat is decked out with solar panels and underwater turbines which work to produce zero-carbon electricity.

The boat was built to compete in the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe race, an event in which participants sail solo around the world without stopping. The boat’s owner and the Yacht Club de Monaco approached Greta and offered her the boat.

Greta will be accompanied by the boat’s captain (Boris Herrmann), a Monaco royal family member (Pierre Casiraghi), a Swedish documentary maker (Nathan Grossman), and her father.

Since June, the 16-year-old Swedish activist had previously been agonising over how to get to the summits. Why? She hasn’t flown since 2015 because of the impact it has on the climate – 2% of global human CO2 emissions are produced by the aviation industry.

‘I don’t fly for climate reasons so it’s not 100% yet, but we are figuring it out,’ she had told the The Guardian. ‘It’s very hard, but I think it should be possible.’

She usually travels by train, but this was obviously not an option. She considered a cruise ship, but it too produces high emissions. Sailing boats would be dangerous to navigate across the Atlantic during August because of the risk of hurricanes.

Greta has taken the next year off from school to focus on her activism. Her activism has sparked the international Fridays for Future climate strike movement amongst schoolchildren.

Her campaigns have given momentum to the flygskam movement, an anti-flying movement argues that people should feel ashamed to take a plane because of its negative environmental impact.

She has addressed delegates at a previous UN climate conference and World Economic Forum meeting as well as the parliaments of France and Britain.

Feature image: Team Malizia Facebook.


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