In Brief

Greta Thunberg arrives in NYC with a message for Trump

Teenage climate activist had sailed from the UK to attend climate conference

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg demanded action on climate change as she arrived in New York yesterday, after crossing the Atlantic in a zero-carbon yacht.

“Let’s not wait any longer. Let’s do it now,” the 16-year-old told the cheering crowd. “We need to stand together and take action because otherwise it might be too late.”

Thunberg, who sailed to New York to attend a UN summit on zero emissions, declared: “It is insane that a 16-year-old would have to cross the Atlantic to take a stand … [against] the climate and ecological crisis is a global crisis and the biggest humanity has ever faced.”

Asked if she had a message for US President Donald Trump, she replied: “I say, ‘Listen to the science’. And he obviously does not do that. If no one has been able to convince him about the climate crisis and the urgency, why would I be able to?”

Thunberg’s yacht left the British port of Plymouth on 14 August. She had refused to fly to New York because of carbon emissions caused by planes.

As she departed, she told the BBC that travelling by boat sends a signal that “the climate change crisis is a real thing”. Reuters says the yacht had no shower or toilet and the sailing party ate cold canned food.

Some have criticised Thunberg’s mission, pointing to the admission from the yacht’s co-skipper that several people would fly into New York to take the yacht back to Europe.

Thunberg will attend the UN climate summit on 23 September and the COP25 climate conference in Chile in December.

She has become an international icon for her “school strikes”, which have inspired a worldwide climate change protest movement, and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year.

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