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Teenage activist to travel to US on racing yacht to cut environmental impact of travel

Greta Thunberg will sail across the Atlantic next month with a high-speed sport yacht to attend the UN climate summit in the US and Chile as part of a Sabbath year that the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist will spend in the US.

“Good news! I am participating in the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, COP25 in Santiago … I have offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II. We will sail across the Atlantic from the UK to NYC in mid-August,” tweet Greta The journey takes two weeks.

The campaigner, whose solo protest last year led to the global strike movement on Friday for the future of school climate, said in June that she would be out of school for a year to attend the summit meetings, on September 23 in New York and December 2-13 in Santiago, which she described as “virtually where our future will be decided”.

But she said she didn’t know how she would get there. “It’s on the other side of the Atlantic. And there are no trains. And because I don’t fly, because of the huge climate impact of aviation, it will be a challenge.”

The 18-meter long yacht is owned by the Yacht Club de Monaco and is a high-speed scraping monohull built for the 2016-17 one-hand, non-stop around the world Vendée Globe race with one hand. The club said on its Facebook page that it was “honored to be allowed to sail Greta Thunberg emission-free across the Atlantic”.

The yacht is equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate carbon-free electricity. Greta is accompanied on the two-week journey by a filmmaker, her father, Svante and Pierre Casiraghi, the grandson of the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the actor Grace Kelly.

Before the announcement, Greta told the Associated Press that she did not want to travel to the US on cruise ships because of their notoriously high emissions, while the Atlantic Ocean could be dangerous for sailboats in August due to the high risk of hurricanes.

“Taking a boat to North America is basically impossible,” she said during her weekly Fridays for Future protest outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. “I have had countless people who helped me and tried to contact different boats.”

In a joint Guardian interview with US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in June, Greta said about her planned visit to the UN climate summit: “I don’t fly for climate reasons, so it’s not 100% yet, but we’ll find out. It is very difficult, but I think it should be possible. “

Referring to her convention district, Ocasio-Cortez said, “If you land in New York, we will welcome you as a queen!”

After New York, where she will participate in various meetings and protests, Greta wants to travel by train and bus to the annual UN climate conference in Chile with stops in Canada, Mexico and other countries.

The activist, the daughter of an actor and an opera singer, spoke with policy makers at last year’s UN climate conference in Poland, with business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and politicians, including the French and British parliaments. She also met Pope Francis.

Greta, who has met with fierce criticism from climate deniers and some politicians, told AP that she wasn’t sure how her message would go in the US, where Donald Trump leads a broad opposition to the radical measures that scientists believe are needed to prevent global warming. to limit the earth.

She said it would probably be a waste of time to meet the American president, and added: “I have nothing to say to him. He clearly does not listen to science and scientists. So why should I, a child without a good education, convince him? “

This weekend British Vogue said that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, would be guest editor of the September issue and had chosen Greta as one of the 15 women who described it as the “groundbreaking change makers” who would appear on the cover.

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