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Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a news conference ahead of her trans-Atlantic boat trip to New York in Plymouth, Britain, August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Thunberg’s sailing trip to the USA

Gretas cruise more harmful than flight

Thunberg’s sailing trip to New York causes at least six flights across the Atlantic. Would she fly, the journey would be more climate-friendly.

German yachtsman Boris Herrmann and Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg attend a news conference ahead of her trans-Atlantic boat trip to New York in Plymouth, Britain, August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The Team Malizia yacht is pictured, that will sail Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic for the UN Climate Action Conference, with the team’s Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann, in this recent undated photo released August 14, 2019. Team Malizia/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT
The Malizia II boat with climate change activist Greta Thunberg aboard, heads out to sea from Plymouth, England, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The 16-year-old climate change activist who has inspired student protests around the world is leaving Plymouth, England, bound for New York in a high-tech but low-comfort sailboat.(AP Photo)
REFILE – QUALITY REPEAT Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg waves from a yacht as she starts her trans-Atlantic boat trip to New York, in Plymouth, Britain, August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, her father Svante and Skipper Boris Herrmann sit aboard the Team Malizia yacht, that will transport Thunberg across the Atlantic for the UN Climate Action Conference, in Plymouth, Britain August 12, 2019. Picture taken August 12, 2019. Team Malizia/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT

 

BERLIN taz | Climate activist Greta Thunberg causes more greenhouse gas emissions from her sailing trip from the United Kingdom to the United States than if she had flown. About five employees would sail the yacht back to Europe, said Andreas Kling, spokesman for Thunberg skipper Boris Herrmann, on Thursday the taz.

“Of course, they fly over there, that’s no different,” says Kling. Herrmann will also take the plane for the return journey. The sailing trip triggers at least six climate-damaging air travel across the Atlantic. If Thunberg had flown with her father, only two would have been necessary to come to New York.

According to the atmosfair emissions calculator , a flight from New York to Hamburg has a climate impact of around 1,800 kilograms of carbon dioxide. That is more than three quarters of what every person is entitled to each year if global warming is to be stopped at 2 degrees.

Because flights are so damaging to the climate, Thunberg had been looking for a better way to travel to the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York in September. On Wednesday afternoon, the 16-year-old struck aboard the high-sea yacht “Malizia II” together with the two professional sailors Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi and their father Svante and a filmmaker in the southern English town of Plymouth. The ship is powered by the wind, electricity for navigation and communication is generated by solar cells.

The press spokesperson for the Fridays for Future activist was unable to reach an opinion on the carbon footprint of the sailing trip until the copy deadline. Skipper spokesman Kling admitted that the departure with hundreds of journalists, supporters and spectators in Plymouth had a carbon footprint. “It would have been less greenhouse gas emissions if we had not made this departure,” Kling said. “Of course it would have been more environmentally friendly not to draw attention to the fact that we urgently need to do something against the climate crisis. But if nobody points out, then we do not do anything. “

When asked if it would not have been more climate-friendly if Thunberg had traveled on a container ship, Kling replied: “This is a thought that is actually being considered for the return to Europe.”

Critics have argued that the yacht after the crossing of the Atlantic had to be repaired consuming and thus harmful to the climate. These works will probably not be very big. “Probably not half as much will break as in an Atlantic crossing under regatta conditions,” said Kling. In no case, the sails would be replaced, because the material is very durable.

Kling added after the release of the first version of this taz article that the team Malizia since 2018 compensate for all its climate-damaging activities including flights through contributions to projects that bind greenhouse gases. “We are aware that such a compensation can not and should not purify our conscience. It’s not an ideal solution, but the least we can do to make up for it, “the spokesman said.

“Greta was not seasick”

So far, Thunberg’s sailing trip is going according to plan, said Kling. The weather with showers and moderate wind was “not really comfortable”, but there was no storm. “Greta went to sleep relatively early yesterday, but was not seasick.” Very unfavorable weather, the yacht due to their high speed comparatively easy to avoid. On Thursday afternoon, the ship was due to an Internettracker west of the northern French city of Brest.

Thunberg’s goal is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions so that global warming temperatures can be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius. “The window to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius closes very fast. That’s why I’m taking this trip, “Thunberg was quoted as saying after the departure. Sail expert Herrmann explained: “The journey symbolizes two things: that replacing fossil fuels is not easy, and that mastering this challenge can be a great adventure.”

According to him, the trip will be about 3,500 nautical miles – so it’s still a long way to New York. (with dpa)

Note: This article was updated on August 15, 2019 at 18:50.










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