2019-12-04 by Daisy I.
COP 25: Greta Thunberg ‘energised’ on arrival in Lisbon after a three-week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean : International de
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg arrives aboard the yacht La Vagabonde at Santo Amaro port in Lisbon, Portugal.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg has arrived by catamaran in the port of Lisbon after a three-week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from the United States.
The Swedish teen arrived with her father in the port of the Portuguese capital on Tuesday [local time] and was sailing toward the quay, before heading to neighbouring Spain to attend the COP 25 UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Madrid.
Ms Thunberg told dozens of reporters and activists she felt “energised” after the journey and plans to keep pressing political leaders to make climate change their top priority.
She said she wants senior officials gathered in Madrid to “finally understand the urgency” of climate change and cooperate internationally.
“People are underestimating the force of angry kids,” she said.
She says she travelled by catamaran instead of plane to “send a message it is possible” to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Ms Thunberg was to be met in Lisbon by local dignitaries and other activists.
Ms Thunberg had travelled from Sweden to California by boat, train and electric car and was on track to attend the next round of climate negotiations in Santiago until the meetings were moved to Madrid and she was forced to find a way to get to Europe.
The country had backed out of hosting the COP 25 due to weeks of anti-government protests.
The 16-year-old tweeted from Los Angeles at the time: “As #COP25 has officially been moved from Santiago to Madrid I’ll need some help.
“It turns out I’ve travelled half around the world, the wrong way. Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November … If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful.”
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg arrives with her father aboard the yacht La Vagabonde at Santo Amaro port in Lisbon.
Days later, Ms Thunberg posted to her Instagram saying she had accepted the offer of Australian couple Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu and their son Lenny to make the trip to Europe on their 48-foot catamaran called La Vagabonde.
She wanted a low-carbon form of transport to get to the climate meeting.
The yacht leaves little or no carbon footprint when its sails are up, using solar panels and hydro-generators for electricity.
Ms Thunberg broke the news of her late arrival to the conference on Monday: “We’re speeding towards Europe!
“Estimated time of arrival right now is Tuesday morning [local time]. We’ll be arriving at Doca de Alcantara, Lisbon. We are all looking forward to see you there!”
The teen climate activist has previously said she refuses to fly because of the carbon emissions involved.
Hottest decade on record
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) launched a report at the summit on Tuesday (local time) that found the past decade was almost certain to have been the hottest on record.
In a stark reminder that burning fossil fuels has fundamentally changed the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, the report said the concentration of carbon dioxide hit a record 407.8 parts per million in 2018 and rose again in 2019, hovering at the highest levels seen in millions of years.
Opening the climate summit on Monday, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned that 400 parts per million had once been considered an “unthinkable” tipping point.
Despite the grim statistics, young delegates said they were inspired by Ms Thunberg’s determination to minimise her own carbon footprint by twice braving the Atlantic instead of flying — which they saw as a symbol of resourcefulness and defiance.
“She is making a statement that you don’t always have to take the easy way,” said Belgian climate activist, Lander Wanters.
Delegates at the talks aim to finalise groundwork to support the Paris pact to curb the rise in global temperatures, which enters a crucial implementation phase in 2020.