16-Year-Old Climate Activist Finishes Zero-Carbon Journey Across The Atlantic
Swedish teen-activist, Greta Thunberg sailed to New York on the Malizia II, a carbon-free vessel, to speak at the United Nations Climate Actions Summit.
Thunberg sought an alternative to air travel because it is one of the most dominant contributors to greenhouse gases, climate change, and global warming. Thunberg decided to brave the Atlantic on the Malizia II with her father, two skippers from the Mailizia II’s racing team, and a film producer. The racing yacht is equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines to guarantee a carbon-neutral journey from Plymouth, England, to the East Coast of the United States.
Back in 2018, Thunberg left school once a week to strike for climate change in front of the Swedish parliament. Her protests soon gained international attention, resulting in the development of the Fridays for Future movement that encourages millions of students worldwide to strike for climate action every Friday. Since the formation of this initiative, Thunberg has not only spoken in front of the European Parliament, but she also continues to inspire strikes in over 119 countries.
The ultimate goal of the UN Climate Action Summit is to bring governments, civil society, the private sector, and local authorities together to develop a global solution for climate change. While Thunberg’s efforts are highly appreciated by her fellow environmental activists, she has also received criticism for her unusual method of traveling overseas. This is because Thunberg’s trip required a separate team of several skippers to fly to New York in order to sail the Mailizia II back, meaning that emissions would have been sufficiently lower if she’d flown directly from Europe to the US.
Apart from speaking at the UN, the young activist is also scheduled to attend the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Chile later this year. As Thunberg´s journey through America continues, she does not yet know how she will return emission-free to her home country of Sweden in December.