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Greta en route to Spain for COP25 on solar-powered yacht
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Nov 13, 2019
SCHOOLGIRL climate change activist Greta Thunberg is on her way to Spain from the USA in a yacht belonging to millionaire YouTubers after putting out a Twitter appeal for transport.
The 16-year-old refuses to use air transport wherever she goes because of the high emissions generated by aeroplanes, which contribute to climate change by trapping warm air within the atmosphere inside a 'coating' of CO2 and NOx (carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide).
She took two weeks to get to New York from Sweden to attend the United Nations Climate Change Summit, and is now aiming to get to Madrid by early December for the next leg of the Summit at the IFEMA exhibition centre.
Greta had remained in the USA after the September meeting, since the next was due to be held in Santiago de Chile – but the president of the Andean nation pulled out due to mass protests over living costs and conditions.
“So happy to say I'll hopefully make it to the COP25 in Madrid,” Greta announced on Twitter, along with a photo of Australians Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, owners of the solar- and wind-powered yacht, and their baby son, plus the captain, Brit Nikki Henderson.
“I've been offered a ride from Virginia on the 48-foot catamaran La Vagabonde.
“Australians @Sailing_LaVaga, Elayna Carausu & @NikkiHenderson from England will take me across the Atlantic.
“We sail for Europe tomorrow morning!”
Her tweet was published just after midnight today local time, meaning she is now on the water and expects to be on Spanish soil within about a fortnight.
This said, her trip in September on the Malizia II – owned by Prince Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco - involved far better sea conditions, and November can often bring strong gusts of Atlantic winds, according to Greenpeace, especially in the Portuguese Azores Islands and near the Republic of Ireland.
But solar-powered aeroplanes do not, as yet, have sufficient power to make the journey – even though some have crossed the Atlantic to date, these have been merely experimental flights – and those using bio-combustible fuel were not an option as they use a mix of kerosene, meaning sea travel was Greta's only way of getting back to Europe.
The long and hazardous journey in the opposite direction – heading to Alaska then sailing to Russia via the Bering Strait and travelling to south-western Europe overland – was also ruled out.
Spain's president Pedro Sánchez had offered to let Greta speak at the Summit via videoconference if, in the end, she was unable to get 'green' transport and could not make it in time for the start of the event on December 2.
Minister for energy and environmental transition, Teresa Ribera, admitted it may not be possible for the teen to speak at the Summit in person.
“At this time of year, the North Atlantic is not easy to cross,” she said.
“The problem isn't financial – it's about transport methods.”
But all being well, Greta should make it to Spain by the end of November, meaning she will then only have to travel by train to Madrid in time for the Summit on December 2, which finishes on December 13.
Photograph: @GretaThunberg on Twitter
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