Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, is faced with a dilemma: how will she get to the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City without leaving a carbon footprint?
Enter Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi, professional sailors who offered the young activist a ride on their high-speed, zero-emissions sailboat the Malizia II .
On July 29, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg announced on Twitter that next month she’ll be traveling to the United States by boat to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City. Later in the year, she will also join the Cop25 Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile.
“Good news! 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 60th racing boat Malizia II. We’ll be sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from the UK to NYC in mid-August,” she tweeted announcing the journey, which is expected to take two weeks.
As reported by The Guardian, the Malizia II is a high-speed planing monohull, built-in 2016 and owned by German property developer Gerhard Senft. The “zero-carbon” yacht is fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity on board.
Thunberg will embark on the trip with her father Svante, the boat’s skipper Boris Herrmann, as well as a film-maker and Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco, grandson of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, who founded the Yacht Club Monaco, which sponsors the boat.
Greta told the Associated Press before the announcement that she had not wanted to travel to the US by cruise ship because of their notoriously high emissions, while the Atlantic could be dangerous for sailing boats in August because of the high risk of hurricanes.
“Taking a boat to North America is basically impossible,” she said. “I have had countless people helping me, trying to contact different boats.”
In a joint Guardian Interview with the US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in June, Greta said of her planned visit to the UN climate summit: “I don’t fly for climate reasons so it’s not 100% yet, but we are figuring it out. It’s very hard, but I think it should be possible.”
Referring to her congressional district, Ocasio-Cortez said: “If you land in New York, we will give you a Queens welcome!”
Thunberg has taken a year off from school in order to focus on her work as an outspoken climate activist.