Teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, has reached the coast of New York after undertaking a 15-day, zero-carbon yacht journey across the Atlantic as part of her campaign to draw attention to the climate crisis, dpa news reports.
The Swedish teenager has inspired young people across Europe to demand action on climate change after leading a now-famous weekly school strike outside the Swedish parliament.
“I and many people with me are going to try to do everything we can to make sure that the world leaders have all eyes on them during these conferences so they cannot continue to ignore this,” Thunberg told a crowd of supporters and journalists after docking in New York.
Thunberg refused to fly to New York for a UN summit, citing aviation CO2 emissions.
Her over two-week journey – battling weather conditions on a racing yacht – garnered the world’s attention.
The trip was “suprisingly good,” a dreary Thunberg said. “I did not feel seasick once.”
“It is insane that a 16-year-old had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to make a stand,” she added. “If we don’t manage to work together to cooperate, to work together despite our difference then we will fail.”
Thunberg said her first priority is to relax for a couple days, but her Atlantic journey is only the first leg of a whirlwind tour.
On Friday she will strike alongside fellow youth in front of the United Nations and then attend the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23.
Thunberg will then head to Canada and Mexico before setting off for Chile for the UN Conference of the Parties (COP 25) climate summit using a combination of trains, buses and possibly more sailing.
“There must be some kind of breaking point, this United Nations Climate Action Summit in September and the COP 25, these two have to be a tipping point,” she said. “I hope it will be, because it must.”
Thunberg acknowledged that she will be unable to convince U.S. President Donald Trump of taking action on climate change, but she will focus on generating greater awareness.
Welcoming Thunberg to New York was a group of sail boats hoisting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality, the elimination of poverty and climate action.
The 18-metre long Malizia is captained by German sailor Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco. Thunberg’s father Svante Thunberg and filmmaker Nathan Grossman were also on board.
The Malizia racing yacht set sail on August 14 from Plymouth, England.
Herrmann said Wednesday the boat battled wind speeds of 30 kilometres.
“We have produced all electric energy by solar and wind and not used any fossil fuel for this trip,” Herrmann said to cheers.