Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg plans to spread awareness about climate change ahead of the U.N. Climate Action Summit taking place in New York. To reach her destination, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. By sailing to New York instead of taking a flight, the teenager has drawn international attention to her cause.
Thunberg had previously expressed her desire to reach New York in the most carbon-efficient way possible. Pierre Casiraghi, the son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, offered to skipper the Malizia II solar-powered racing yacht. Along with Casiraghi, Boris Hermann German round-the-world sailor aided Thunberg’s ground-breaking journey.
On August 14, the Malizia II set sail from Plymouth, Britain. The journey took longer than expected due to rough waters in the Atlantic. On August 28, the yacht docked at the North Cove Marina, south Manhattan. The crew first docked at Coney Island, Brooklyn to complete immigration formalities before deboarding at North Cove Marina.
The Malizia II was greeted by a 17-boat flotilla sent out by the United Nations. Sustainable development goals recommended by the United Nation were painted on the sails of each of the 17 vessels. Using less plastic, reducing food and water wastage, vaccinating children and using public transport are a few of the messages on the sails.
Thunberg started raising awareness about climate change back in August 2018. Her movement, Fridays for Future, started off with a sit-down protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. Thunberg has inspired students around the world to put pressure on their government by going on strike. Fridays for Future gained social media momentum. 1.2m followers on Twitter and 1.1m followers on Facebook support Thunberg’s mission and journey.
After deboarding in New York, Thunberg shared a few words at a press conference. Her message was clear, she wants global leaders to take decisive steps to address the climate change issue. Reporters asked Thunberg about what she had to say about US President Donald Trump, who refuses to accept climate change as a reality. Thunberg said that she wants everyone to “listen to the science” and if that has not affected Trump then the words of a teenager would not make any difference.
However, Thunberg’s words and actions do make a difference to thousands of students who have chosen to support her Fridays for Future movement.