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Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg prepares to sail to US to avoid flying

Greta Thunberg Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters London, United Kingdom Aug 13, 2019, 04.53 PM (IST)

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will set sail for New York this week, crossing the Atlantic in a racing yacht to join protests in the United States and take part in a United Nations summit.

To avoid travelling by air, Thunberg is making her trans-Atlantic trip onboard the 60-ft yacht, the Malizia II, fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity on board, with the aim of making the journey zero-carbon.

On Monday, Thunberg tweeted a picture of herself on board the boat with the caption: "Test sailing off the English coast today!"

Earlier this month, the boat's skipper told Reuters the 16-year-old activist, who has become a figurehead for young environmental protesters, faced an uncomfortable voyage onboard the yacht which is designed for speed rather than a luxury.

"Greta taking on this challenge of sailing across on a race boat with zero comforts really shows her commitment to the cause and how far she’s willing to push herself," Boris Herrmann said.

Thunberg is due to depart this week from an as-yet-undisclosed location in Britain and will be accompanied by her father, Svante, and a cameraman on the journey.

When she arrives, she will join the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September and the COP 25 climate change conference in Santiago, Chile in December.

"Me speaking to the UN is not going to change the situation but if that can help to create awareness ... then I think that together we can try to ... make a change," Thunberg said on a visit to a German anti-coal protest camp on Friday.

Story highlights

To avoid travelling by air, Thunberg is making her trans-Atlantic trip onboard the 60-ft yacht, the Malizia II, fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity on board, with the aim of making the journey zero-carbon.