New York. The 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York two weeks after starting her sailing trip across the Atlantic. The Swede set foot on US soil for the first time in her life on Wednesday afternoon (local time) in front of hundreds of onlookers, young activists and media representatives. In her hand she held her famous protest sign with the inscription “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School strike for the climate).
“All of this is very overwhelming. The ground is still shaking,” said the young Swede immediately after arriving at the North Cove Marina in Manhattan. The transatlantic trip was surprisingly good. “I haven’t even felt seasick,” she said. There was praise from North German sailing professional Boris Herrmann, who had brought his prominent guest across the ocean on board the racing yacht “Malizia” together with his co-skipper Pierre Casiraghi. “Very few people could have done that,” he said.
Meeting with Trump “pointless”
Thunberg announced that it would take part in a climate protest in front of the United Nations building on Friday. This will be just one of the activist’s many protests and other appointments in the United States. The United Nations youth climate summit in New York starts on September 21, followed two days later by the UN climate summit with heads of state and government in front of the UN General Assembly. All around there are internationally coordinated climate protests by the Fridays for Future movement. Thunberg also wants to meet other activists, decision-makers and those affected by climate change.
From Thunberg’s environment it was also reported that she wanted to go to Washington for political talks. A meeting with US President Trump, who is pursuing anti-climate policies, seems impossible. After her arrival, Thunberg repeated her position that there was no point trying to convince Trump if he did not want to listen to the scientific findings. “If no one managed to convince him, why should I be ready?” Rather, they will concentrate on drawing attention to the urgency of the climate crisis.
“War against nature must stop”
Even at sea, the news of the fires in the Amazon region did not bypass her, said Thunberg. The situation in the Amazon is devastating. “Our war against nature must stop.”
Thunberg assured that her plan was still to take part in the World Climate Conference in Santiago de Chile in December. The conference must mark a crucial turning point in the fight for the climate, she said. She doesn’t yet know exactly how to get there. But she will forego flying again. Instead, she will probably sit on a lot of trains and buses, and she did not rule out another trip by sailboat. The capital of Chile is around 8,500 kilometers south of New York.
Thunberg, Herrmann, Casiraghi as well as Thunberg’s father Svante and a filmmaker set sail together with the “Malizia” in Plymouth in southern England on August 14th. The climate activist refrains from air travel because a particularly large number of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are emitted on these. That is why she decided to make the way across the Atlantic by ocean-going sailing yacht. Overseas, she now wants to take her fight against the climate crisis to a new level. To do this, she took a year off from school.
After the arrival and the end of the hustle and bustle, Thunberg sent a tweet with a photo that showed her in the New York subway. “Finally there,” she wrote. “Thank you everyone who came to see me in Plymouth and everyone who welcomed me to New York!” (apa, dpa)