The 16-year-old climate activist is setting sail to New York’s UN summit today
Fresh off her song collab with The 1975, climate activist Greta Thunberg is setting sail on a solar-powered boat to attend a UN summit in New York. But when asked whether she would be open to meeting President Trump, the 16-year-old delivered a healthy dose of real talk, saying it would be a “waste”.
“Why should I waste time talking to him when he, of course, is not going to listen to me?” she told CBS. “I can’t say anything that he hasn’t already heard.” When asked to rate America’s climate change efforts, she replied, “not very high”. It’s fair enough when you consider that the US is the biggest emitter of carbon, second to China.
Despite never sailing before, the Swedish activist – who has stopped flying for environmental reasons – will be travelling on a boat (with no toilet or kitchen) for two weeks, along with her dad, Svante, and a filmmaker. Electricity on the boat will come from solar panels and wind turbines, meaning the voyage has zero carbon footprint.
“It just shows how impossible it is to live sustainably today – it’s absurd that you have to sail across the Atlantic Ocean like this to get there with no emissions,” she said. “But I feel like since I’m one of the few people in the world who can actually do this I want to take the opportunity to do it.” Thunberg told the BBC that travelling by boat shows people that the “climate change crisis is a real thing”.
In this last year alone, the teen activist’s school strikes have inspired a global protest movement by young people demanding immediate action on climate change. After attending the UN Summit, she will kick off her American climate demo tour before attending the UN climate conference in Santiago, Chile, in December via train and bus.