16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg is sailing to the UN on a zero-emissions sailboat

There’s a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Or, in Greta Thunberg’s case, sailing the sail. The 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist is planning on attending a United Nations summit meeting on global warming, but she’ll be traveling in a sustainable way. 

Thunberg, who refuses to fly because of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions air travel produces, instead opts to travel by train. But seeing as how she needs to cross the Atlantic this trip, that isn’t an option. She was also against taking a cruise ship to the summit because they have high emissions, as well. Instead, she will sail to the U.S. on a no-emissions racing yacht, a trip that will take two weeks. 

“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York. I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II,” Thunberg announced on Twitter.

Air travel is responsible for 3% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and 2% of greenhouse gas emission worldwide. You can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing air travel, even if you’re not as hard core as Thunberg. 

The zero-emissions sailboat that will transport Thunberg is a 60-foot racing yacht christened Malizia II. The sailboat generates electricity through solar panels and underwater turbines, and will not burn any fossil fuels during her voyage. It’s one of a handful of zero-emissions sailboats and was born out of the frustration of burning fossil fuels while working to keep the oceans clean. It kind of defeats the point if you’re polluting while you’re trying to stop pollution.  

Thunberg says it’s important for her to attend the summit because it’s “pretty much where our future will be decided.We still have a window of time when things are in our own hands. But that window is closing fast. That is why I have decided to make this trip now,” she told the New York Times. 

As part of the future generation, Thunberg feels it’s important to make sure there’s actually a future therefor people her age.“Together with many other young people across the Americas and the world, I will be there, even if the journey will be long and challenging. We will make our voices heard. It is our future on the line, and we must at least have a say in it,” Thunberg told the Huffington Post.

Thunberg also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks, which will be held in December in Chile. She will also be making stops in Canada, Mexico and South America, “meeting with people most impacted by the climate and ecological emergency.”

Thunberg will be staying in the Americas for nine months. While it isn’t known when she will return to Europe or how she will get there, we would bet money she’s going to travel back to Sweden in a sustainable way.  

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