If traveling by plane is out of the picture, how do you make your way halfway around the world? That's what teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is trying to figure out. Now that the United Nation's climate summit has been moved, Thunberg is searching for a way across the Atlantic with her ultimate destination shifting from Santiago, Chile to Madrid, Spain. Although it's a frustrating dilemma, it speaks to Thunberg's commitment to battling climate change.
The climate summit, known as COP25, was supposed to take place in Chile. That's why Thunberg made a highly publicized journey from Sweden to New York in a carbon-neutral sailboat that took two weeks. From there, Thunberg traveled through North America by train and then hopped into an electric car borrowed from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After all that travel, though, the summit was canceled. Then, on Friday, the UN announced a new venue for COP25 — all the way in Spain.
"It turns out I've traveled half around the world, the wrong way," Thunberg tweeted. "Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November...If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful."
With the dates set for early December, Thunberg is on a time crunch.
If you haven't been following Thunberg's work, you may be wondering why she can't just hop on a plane. The answer is pretty simple: because flying is terrible for the environment. According to Vox, a one-way flight across the Atlantic from New York City to London will emit one ton of carbon dioxide per passenger, and there's upward of 2,500 flights over the North Atlantic each day.
Avoiding flights whenever possible is a highly effective way for people to cut their carbon footprint. With that in mind, a climate activist avoiding flying makes a lot of sense.
Thunberg does have some powerful people with a lot of resources in her corner, so it's likely that she'll be able to make her way to Spain. Recently, Thunberg met Leonardo DiCaprio, who wrote in an Instagram caption, "It is because of Greta, and young activists everywhere that I am optimistic about what the future holds."
Spain's Environment Minister Teresa Ribera did respond to Thunberg's request on Twitter, writing, "You've made a long journey and help all of us to raise concern, open minds and enhance action. We would love to help you to cross the Atlantic back. Willing to get in contact to make it posible."