Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has revealed she’s travelling from Britain to the US next month by boat to attend two key conferences – because she refuses to fly.
The 16-year-old, who has long shunned using planes because of their high greenhouse gas emissions, says she has spent months trying to figure out how to get to New York for the talks in September.
But now she has revealed on Twitter that she has been offered a lift across the Atlantic by a member of Monaco’s royal family.
The Malizia II is a 60ft racing yacht fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity on board.
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 NYC in mid August.#UniteBehindTheScience pic.twitter.com/9OH6mOEDce
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) July 29, 2019
Pierre Casiraghi, the grandson of Monaco’s late Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly, will join Greta on the trip – expected to last two weeks – as will her father and a filmmaker.
Breaking her normally serious demeanour with a giggle, she said: “I haven’t experienced anything like this before. I think this will be a trip to remember.”
It is expected that most of the activists and leaders from outside the Americas attending the UN climate conference will be coming by plane.
Greta added: “I’m not saying that people should stop flying. I’m just saying it needs to be easier to be climate neutral.”
Although little-known in the US, Greta has inspired an international movement to fight climate change, and thinks a meeting with Donald Trump would be “a waste of time”.
The US President pulled out of the landmark Paris climate accord and insists global warming is a hoax.
She said: “As it looks now, I don’t think so, because I have nothing to say to him.
“He obviously doesn’t listen to the science and the scientists. So why should I, a child with no proper education, be able to convince him?”
Greta has though, met Pope Francis, who praised her efforts and encouraged her to continue campaigning.
She plans to take a year off from school to keep raising awareness of climate change and pressuring world leaders to step up efforts to curb global warming.
After New York, she will head to another conference in Chile in December, stopping in Canada, Mexico and other countries along the way using buses and trains.
She says this year her life has been “turned upside down”.
“Every day is an adventure, basically. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and say ‘Is this really real? Has this actually been happening?’
“Because it has all happened so fast and it’s hard to keep up with everything.
“In a way, I am more optimistic, because people are slowly waking up and people are becoming more aware of the situation.
“But also, one year has passed and still almost nothing has happened.”
Climate campaigners have also praised her efforts, with Greenpeace Germany executive director Martin Kaiser saying: “She has read all the science. That gives her a lot of credibility.
“She has motivated a whole generation in Europe to learn about climate change.”
And on Sunday, it was announced that the Duchess of Sussex had chosen Greta to be among 15 “trail-blazing change makers” to feature on the front cover of September’s edition of British Vogue, which Meghan has guest edited.
But not everyone is as positive.
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Greta has faced some negative criticism from people who do not believe in climate change.
She added: “I don’t care about hate and threats from climate crisis deniers.
“I just ignore them.”