COP25: Greta Thunberg Arrives In Madrid

COP25: Greta Thunberg Arrives In Madrid

Greta Thunberg arrives at COP25 in Madrid.

Greta Thunberg arrives at COP25 in Madrid.

Luca Lombroso

Greta Thunberg arrived on Friday in Madrid to attend the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference, after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. The crowd at the venue of the summit surrounded her in a Hollywood-star style – although Thunberg herself pointed out that focus should rather be directed on the issues she is highlighting.

The 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who organized the first school strike in August 2018, took part in a march together with other young strikers and climate activists the same day. Protesters are calling for ambitious political decisions against climate change and therefore carry a particular importance, as negotiations will enter a hot phase in the following days.

“We are getting bigger and bigger, and our voices are being heard more and more, but of course that does not translate into political action,” Thunberg said during a press conference at the cultural center La Casa Encendida on Friday afternoon. “I sincerely hope that world leaders, that the people in power, grasp the urgency of the climate crisis because right now it doesn’t seem like they are.”

She added that, despite some viewing Cop25 as “some kind of middle-year event” in comparison with the summit in Glasgow next year, there’s no time to waste.

“But we cannot afford middle years, we cannot afford any more days going by without any action being taken,” Thunberg said. “Every chance that we get to improve the situation we must take”

Another youth climate striker, Ugandan Vanessa Nakate told negotiators at COP25: “We don’t want more promises. It is your action that are going to save us.”

Meanwhile, the youth protest in Madrid went on for over three hours. Organizers estimated that 500,000 people took part, but local authorities and the police claimed they were 15,000 in total.

Thunberg travelled by train from Lisbon, Portugal, where she landed on Tuesday after three weeks at sea. She was welcomed by hundreds of supporters and by the Mayor of Lisbon Fernando Medina.

Thunberg explained that sailing was a way to send a signal to decision makers. “I am not traveling like this because I want everyone to do so,” she said. “I’m doing this to sort of send the message that it is impossible to live sustainable today, and that needs to change. It needs to become much easier.”

She sailed from Hampton, Virginia, with the help of an Australian family travelling on a catamaran called La Vagabonde after she learned COP25 relocated from Chile to Spain. Thunberg’s father, Svante Thunberg, and the British sailor Nikki Henderson were also be on board. La Vagabonde, which uses solar panels and hydro-generators, will take roughly three weeks to reach Spain.

Thunberg gave up flights because of their carbon footprint, so she always moves by public transport and first sailed across the ocean in the summer on a racing yacht.

This post was updated on December 7, after the press conference was held.

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Greta Thunberg arrives at COP25 in Madrid.

Greta Thunberg arrives at COP25 in Madrid.

Luca Lombroso

Greta Thunberg arrived on Friday in Madrid to attend the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference, after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. The crowd at the venue of the summit surrounded her in a Hollywood-star style – although Thunberg herself pointed out that focus should rather be directed on the issues she is highlighting.

The 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who organized the first school strike in August 2018, took part in a march together with other young strikers and climate activists the same day. Protesters are calling for ambitious political decisions against climate change and therefore carry a particular importance, as negotiations will enter a hot phase in the following days.

“We are getting bigger and bigger, and our voices are being heard more and more, but of course that does not translate into political action,” Thunberg said during a press conference at the cultural center La Casa Encendida on Friday afternoon. “I sincerely hope that world leaders, that the people in power, grasp the urgency of the climate crisis because right now it doesn’t seem like they are.”

She added that, despite some viewing Cop25 as “some kind of middle-year event” in comparison with the summit in Glasgow next year, there’s no time to waste.

“But we cannot afford middle years, we cannot afford any more days going by without any action being taken,” Thunberg said. “Every chance that we get to improve the situation we must take”

Another youth climate striker, Ugandan Vanessa Nakate told negotiators at COP25: “We don’t want more promises. It is your action that are going to save us.”

Meanwhile, the youth protest in Madrid went on for over three hours. Organizers estimated that 500,000 people took part, but local authorities and the police claimed they were 15,000 in total.

Thunberg travelled by train from Lisbon, Portugal, where she landed on Tuesday after three weeks at sea. She was welcomed by hundreds of supporters and by the Mayor of Lisbon Fernando Medina.

Thunberg explained that sailing was a way to send a signal to decision makers. “I am not traveling like this because I want everyone to do so,” she said. “I’m doing this to sort of send the message that it is impossible to live sustainable today, and that needs to change. It needs to become much easier.”

She sailed from Hampton, Virginia, with the help of an Australian family travelling on a catamaran called La Vagabonde after she learned COP25 relocated from Chile to Spain. Thunberg’s father, Svante Thunberg, and the British sailor Nikki Henderson were also be on board. La Vagabonde, which uses solar panels and hydro-generators, will take roughly three weeks to reach Spain.

Thunberg gave up flights because of their carbon footprint, so she always moves by public transport and first sailed across the ocean in the summer on a racing yacht.

This post was updated on December 7, after the press conference was held.

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