It is not a fear of flying that is stopping Great Thunberg from catching a flight to New York on her way to the UN Climate Action Summit. It is the fear of the impact that a trip like that will have on the planet that is stopping her. According to www.carbonfootprint.com, the carbon footprint (the amount of carbon dioxide given off into the atmosphere because of the activities of an individual) for one passenger from Sweden to the USA is 1.77 tonnes of CO2e. This fact is unacceptable for the teenager whose Fridays for Future global school climate initiative is one of the most significant youth movements at the moment. Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions.
Greta will definitely be attending the Summit in September though, as she has been offered a ride across the Atlantic by the owner of the emission-free racing yacht, Malizia II. The yacht has solar panels and underwater turbines that make zero-carbon electricity. The trip to New York will take two weeks.
Greta will then travel by train to Santiago, Chile to the Summit with stops in Mexico and other countries along the way. She has taken a year off from school to attend conferences which she says are “pretty much where our future will be decided.” She has already spoken at last year’s UN climate conference, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and addressed the French and British Parliaments.
Inspired by Greta? Here are a few things really easy things that you could do to offset your own carbon footprint:
Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.