Greta Thunberg sees land ahead as she approaches New York

Swedish climate activist nears end of her Atlantic crossing on zero-carbon yacht

Greta Thunberg is likely to arrive in New York soon after crossing the Atlantic in a zero-carbon yacht.

“Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead,” the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist tweeted on Wednesday.

Thunberg is sailing to New York to attend a UN summit on zero emissions next month after refusing to fly there because of the carbon emissions caused by planes.

She was offered a ride on the Malizia II racing yacht skippered by Pierre Casiraghi, the son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and the German round-the-world sailor Boris Herrmann.

The 16-year-old, whose school strikes have inspired children across the world to protest against the climate crisis, tweeted on Monday that she expected to arrive in Manhattan on Tuesday.

She added late on Tuesday that the yacht was facing rough seas south of Nova Scotia and “conditions closer to New York will be slower than predicted”.

The yacht left Plymouth in southern England on 14 August, and the teenager marked the first anniversary of the start of her school strike on 20 August.

Greta began a sit-down protest outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 to get members of parliament to act on climate change.

She was quickly joined by other students around the world, as word of her strike spread through the media, and the “Fridays for future” movement was born.

The 18-metre yacht features solar panels on its deck and sides, and two hydro-generators provide the vessel’s electricity.

Her voyage sparked controversy, however, after a spokesman for Herrmann, the yacht’s co-skipper, told the Berlin newspaper TAZ that several people would fly into New York to take the yacht back to Europe.

Hermann himself will also return by plane, according to the spokesman.

Team Malizia’s manager insisted, however, that the young activist’s journey would be carbon neutral, as the flights would be offset.

Greta has said she does not yet know how she will return to Europe.

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