16-Year-Old Swedish Climate Activist Docks in NYC After Crossing Atlantic - NBC Chicago
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16-Year-Old Swedish Climate Activist Docks in NYC After Crossing Atlantic

The 16-year-old Swedish activist will attend the three-day U.N. climate summit taking place on Sept. 23

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    Teen Activist Sailing Across Atlantic Arrives in NYC

    Eco-activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York City on Wednesday, two weeks after she set sail from the English coastline as part of her campaign to pressure politicians to put climate change at the top of their agendas. Michael George with the story.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019)

    Eco-activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York City on Wednesday, two weeks after she set sail from the English coastline as part of her campaign to pressure politicians to put climate change at the top of their agendas.

    The 16-year-old Swedish activist docked at North Cove Marina in lower Manhattan, where she was greeted by fellow student activists and reporters. 

    "It's insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic Ocean to make a stand," Thunberg said during a press conference at the marina. "This is not something I want everyone to do."

    As her boat sailed past the Statue of Liberty, 17 smaller boats, which Thunberg tweeted were sent out by the United Nations, greeted her. There was one boat for each of the U.N.’s sustainable development goals.

    Earlier Wednesday morning, Thunberg tweeted that her crew had anchored off Coney Island and was clearing customs. She has spent 14 days on the Malizia II, a 60-foot yacht outfitted with solar panels and underwater turbines, used to generate electricity which allows Thunberg to make a zero-carbon trans-Atlantic journey.

    Before dawn Wednesday she shared a photo of her view of city lights on the horizon.

    "Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead," she tweeted.

    Thunberg hitched a ride on the high-tech yacht to attend the U.N. climate summits next month in New York and in Santiago, Chile, in December. She has decided to take a year off from school to travel.

    The three-day U.N. climate summit will take place on Sept. 23, with between 200 and 250 participants, where "the very best, the most ambitious, the most transformative" initiatives that can be replicated will be presented along with concrete proposals from U.N. member nations, U.N. special envoy Luis Alfonso de Alba said.

    Thunberg is expected to participate in a daylong Youth Climate Summit attended by between 600 and 700 people mainly aged 18 to 28 from around the world.

    It will open with a dialogue between Secretary-General António Guterres and youth representatives like Thunberg, de Alba said, and it is expected to close with recommendations to tackle global warming.

    Still reeling from her nearly 14-day sailing trip, Thunberg addressed the ongoing fires burning through the Amazon rainforest, an environmental issues that will likely come up during the Youth Climate Summit and the U.N. climate sessions.

    The teen climate activist called the fires "devastating," "horrible" and "hard to imagine.

    "Even on a sail boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I heard about the fires in the Amazon rainforest," Thunberg said to the crowd of reporters and activists at the lower Manhattan marina. "This is a clear sign we need to stop destroying nature — our war against nature must end.”