Climate activist Greta Thunberg completes Atlantic journey


Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg neared landfall on Wednesday after traversing the Atlantic Ocean on a zero-carbon emissions vessel.

"We have anchored off Coney Island – clearing customs and immigration," Thunberg said in a tweet.

Thunberg is best known for spearheading weekly student strikes aimed at pressuring governments into taking major steps to curb CO2 emissions and halt climate change. She initially started by demanding immediate action outside Sweden's parliament.

She is scheduled to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit slated for September in New York. Thunberg opted to make the transatlantic journey carbon-free by sailing on the Malizia II, a 60-foot (18-meter) yacht featuring solar panels and electricity-producing underwater turbines.

Read more: Opinion: Has Greta Thunberg gone overboard?

Bold action required

Thunberg has urged European countries, including her native Sweden, to do more in combating climate change. In April, she urged the European Parliament to take bold action to address the global crisis.

"Our house is falling apart and our leaders need to start acting accordingly because at the moment they are not," she said. "If our house was falling apart, you wouldn't hold three emergency Brexit summits and no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and the environment."

Earlier this year, Germany and several other European countries logged the highest temperatures they had ever recorded. Scientists have pointed to abnormal temperature increases as further evidence of the man-made destabilization of Earth's climate system.

Global efforts to reverse climate change have dragged, with major CO2 emitters such as the US failing to take part in international accords to reverse the potentially-catastrophic trend.

Read more: Is Sweden's no-fly movement just media hype?

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ls/rc (AP, Reuters)