Carbon-free ride for climate activist Greta Thunberg as she sails for Spain
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg left North America yesterday on her return trip across the Atlantic on board a 15-metre catamaran whose passengers include an 11-month-old baby.
The sailboat leaves little to no carbon footprint and is fitted with solar panels and a hydroelectric generator for power.
It also has a toilet, unlike the boat on which the teenager sailed from the UK to New York in August. That one had only a bucket.
“There are countless people around the world who don’t have access to a toilet,” she said about the upgrade.
“It’s not that important. But it’s nice to have.”
She is hitching a ride to Spain in hopes of attending a UN climate meeting in Madrid in early December.
The owners of the boat are Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, an Australian couple who have an 11-month-old son.
The couple, who have a large online following, responded to Greta’s call on social media for a carbon-free ride to Europe.
An expert sailor, Nikki Henderson, is also making the trip.
The journey could take two to four weeks, and November is considered off season for sailing across the Atlantic. The temperature dipped on Tuesday as sleet turned into light snow.
But Greta, who refuses to fly because of the carbon price of plane travel, did not seem bothered.
“I’m looking forward to it, just to be able to get away and recap everything and to just be disconnected,” she said.
Greta recently completed an almost three-month trip through North America, where she gave an impassioned speech at the UN and took part in climate strike rallies and protests from California to Colorado and North Carolina.
She has become a symbol of a growing movement of young climate activists after leading weekly school strikes in Sweden that inspired similar actions in about 100 cities worldwide.
She has also drawn criticism from conservative commentators in the US as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But she brushed off the criticism during interviews on Tuesday, saying that yes, she is too young to be doing this.
“It should be the adults who take that responsibility,” Greta said. “But it feels like the adults and the people in power today are not.”
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg left the US yesterday to attend a UN climate change meeting in Madrid in early December