Greta Thunberg to sail across Atlantic for climate conferences
September 23, 2019 - Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, 16, who refuses to fly because of the environmental impact of air travel, will cross the Atlantic in a zero-carbon vessel to attend two key UN summits on global warming.
Thunberg, who has galvanised young people to fight for the climate, accepted an offer from Team Malizia to sail from UK to New York aboard the racing yacht Malizia II.
The teenager, who is taking a year off school to campaign against climate change, plans to attend the UN Climate Action summit in New York on September 23. Following a tour of the U.S., Canada and Mexico she will journey by low-carbon transport to Santiago, Chile, for the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in December.
Thunberg and her father Svante will make the crossing with captain Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi, head of the Malizia II racing team and the nephew of Prince Albert of Monaco. A Swedish documentary film maker will also be on board.
The journey is expected to take about two weeks and the crew may have to be prepared to face hurricanes en route.
Thunberg aims to highlight the impacts of flying. In 2017 airlines emitted 859 million tonnes of CO2 – roughly 2% of all man-made emissions – but rapid expansion, mainly in Asia, means that emissions are on course to reach 2.7 billion tonnes annually by 2050.
According to figures from the German nonprofit organisation Atmosfair, a flight from London to New York generates 3,408kg CO2 per person, more than double the typical annual carbon footprint of 1,600kg per capita in India.