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Why Greta Thunberg Refuses to Fly to the US
Greta Thunberg Portrait Session
Everyday Heroes

Why Greta Thunberg Refuses to Fly to the US

It’s easy to talk the talk, but it’s not as easy to walk the walk, and when Greta Thunberg travels across the Atlantic to attend UN climate summits, it’d be fair to assume she’d fly. But she won't.

Instead, she’s going to live the message she’s trying to convey, and will be sailing across the Atlantic.

That’s because the 16-year-old Thunberg refuses to fly on planes due to their high level of greenhouse gas emissions. She has decided to instead sail to the US in August in a boat fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity on board.

And it’s at a bit of inconvenience. Instead of what would be a pretty short flight, the journey by sea will take two weeks.

“Good news! I’ll be joining the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, COP25 in Santiago and other events along the way,” she tweeted. "I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II. We’ll be sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from the UK to NYC in mid August."

Thunberg is leading a global movement of school strikes for climate change

Her impact in inspiring students across the world to call for clean energy, reduced carbon emissions, and for governments to seriously pledge the environment for our future. For her efforts, she's been named one of Time's most influential people, appeared on the cover of British Vogue's "Forces for Change" issue (as edited by Meghan Markle), and has even been nominated for a Noble Peace Prize.

The climate activist is continuing to put her money where her mouth is

By sailing to New York in a zero-emission yacht, she's staying true to the same actions she calls for governments to take.

"Taking a boat to North America is basically impossible," she had previously told the AP. "I have had countless people helping me, trying to contact different boats."

The founder of the school strike for climate movement is taking a year off school to raise awareness about the climate crisis, and after attending the UN Climate summits in New York in September will sail on to Chile.

It's easy for many of us to think that, because we're just one person, we don't have the connections or money or influence we need to make a difference in the world. But Thunberg is a powerful reminder that anyone can effect change.

We just need to believe in ourselves and live according to our convictions. And then, we too will inspire others while we're changing the world.

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