Press "Enter" to skip to content

Greta Thunberg to Sail to US for Climate Talks

Greta Thunberg, who started a worldwide movement to encourage action on the climate crisis, has announced that she will arrive for an important climate meeting in New York by sailboat.

Swedish teen Greta Thunberg began the climate strike movement last summer by skipping school to sit outside Parliament, protesting her government’s lack of action on global warming.

Greta Thunberg started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament building in August 2018.
Swedish teen Greta Thunberg began the climate strike movement last summer by skipping school to sit outside Parliament, protesting her government’s lack of action on global warming.
(Source: Anders Hellberg [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Climate Crisis 
The climate crisis is a global emergency caused by the change in weather patterns around the world because of human activity. Global heating is a huge part of the climate crisis. The world is getting hotter, mainly because humans are burning “fossil fuels” like coal, oil, and natural gas to make energy. These fuels give off pollution which makes the climate emergency worse. These kinds of pollution are often called “greenhouse gases” or “carbon emissions”.
The world’s countries have agreed to pollute less, but so far not much has changed. The effects of global heating will make life hard, and sometimes impossible, for most living things. Scientists say humans must take strong action before 2030 to avoid the worst effects of the climate emergency.

Greta’s protests began to get attention. Soon people were organizing similar protests around the world. The strikes are usually held on Fridays, which the protesters call “Fridays for Future”. Most of the protesters have been young people, worried because climate change will affect them much more than adults.

Since late 2018, massive climate strikes have been held in many countries. Two massive global climate strikes, held in March and May, were attended by millions of people in over 2,000 cities and towns around the world.

The school strike for climate (FridaysForFuture) on Heldenplatz in Vienna (Austria) on March 15 2019.
Since late 2018, massive climate strikes have been held in many countries. Two massive global climate strikes, held in March and May, were attended by millions of people in over 2,000 cities and towns around the world. The picture shows a strike in Vienna, Austria during the global climate strike.
(Source: Jean-Frédéric [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

When Ms. Thunberg was 12 and learned about climate change, she decided to never fly again. Jet airplanes are one of the largest sources of human pollution. About 3% of the world’s carbon emissions are believed to come from airline travel.

Because she has become such an important voice in the climate crisis movement, Ms. Thunberg has been asked to speak at many important meetings. She has gone to several meetings across Europe, traveling by train or electric car.

Greta Thunberg speaking at the Austrian World Summit Climate Kirtag
Ms. Thunberg has been asked to speak at many important meetings. She has gone to several meetings in Europe, traveling by train or electric car. She’s shown here speaking at the Austrian World Summit Climate Kirtag in May.
(Source: Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

But there are two very important climate meetings coming up later this year, and neither one of them is in Europe. Both meetings are arranged by the United Nations (UN). The first will be held in New York in September. The second will be in Santiago, Chile.

Ms. Thunberg, who is taking a year off from school to focus on her climate work, was troubled. She wants to attend the meetings. She says the meetings are “pretty much where our future will be decided.” But she couldn’t figure out how to get there without flying.

Aerial shot of the racing yacht Malizia II with a special "climate action" sail.
Ms. Thunberg struggled to figure out how to get to an important climate meeting in US without causing more pollution by flying. She’s now announced that she has accepted an offer to sail to the US in a racing sailboat, the Malizia II (above).
(Source: Team Malizia.)

Ms. Thunberg had been thinking about this problem for months, and had almost decided that she couldn’t go. But now she has decided to accept an offer for a ride in the Malizia II, a sailboat designed for racing.

The Malizia II sails with wind power and can create its own electricity so it doesn’t pollute. Ms. Thunberg will make the trip with her father and a film maker.

The trip will take about two weeks and is likely to be a challenging one. The Malizia II is not meant for comfort. There are no showers. There’s not even a kitchen. The passengers will eat dried food and specially packaged meals.

The racing yacht Malizia II with a sail saying "A race we must win - climate action now!"
The trip will take about two weeks and is likely to be a challenging one. The Malizia II is meant for racing, not comfort. The sail in the picture has been specially added for Ms. Thunberg’s trip.
(Source: Team Malizia.)

Most sailboats don’t cross the Atlantic at that time of year because of storms. Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi, who normally race the boat, have promised to keep Ms. Thunberg safe on the trip.

After the UN meeting in New York, Ms. Thunberg plans to visit Canada and Mexico before making her way down to Chile. She plans to travel by train and bus, meeting people affected by the climate crisis along the way.

Share:

Settings

Most news on NewsForKids.net is appropriate for all ages. When there is news that may not be suitable for all ages, we try to tag it. You can use the setting below to control whether content tagged in this manner is shown.