Greta Thunberg asks for help to make it to Spain - in less then four weeks and without flying

2019-11-05 18:50
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Greta Thunberg has been paving the way for anti-air travel with her jaunts across the world via sailboat, but has found herself in a pickle for the 25th Convention on Climate Change (COP25).

Due to unrest in Chile, COP25 - which will take place from 2 to 13 December - has been moved from Santiago to Madrid in Spain. Thunberg, set to speak at the summit, however has been travelling to South America for the event, and now has to find a way to cross the Atlantic very quickly.

READ: How SA airports (and some spekboom) are fighting long-haul 'flight shame'

"I’m so sorry I’ll not be able to visit South and Central America this time, I was so looking forward to this. But this is of course not about me, my experiences or where I wish to travel. We’re in a climate and ecological emergency. I send my support to the people in Chile," added Thunberg.

"This is of course no problem. People are suffering all around the world, and I’m fine whatever I do and wherever I am."

Spain's minister of environment Teresa Ribera has offered her department's help to get her across the Atlantic.

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Thunberg's unwillingness to use air travel stems from the Swedish trend of 'flygskam' - flight shame - that refers to the guilt over the environmental effects of flying that's leading more travellers, mainly the youth, to opt for travel by train or boat to ease their conscience.

A recent report by HSBC Global Research noted that, globally, the transport sector is responsible for 24% of emissions from the use of fossil fuels for energy, and 15.7% of the overall total from human activities.

Earlier this year, Thunberg travelled to New York in a sailing boat to attend the UN summit on zero emissions, where she delivered a scathing speech about older generations' inaction. 

READ: Are cow farts or airplanes worse for the environment? 

*Compiled by Gabi Zietsman

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