Greta Thunberg: Sailing trip to New York probably more harmful to the climate than flight

The sailing trip of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to New York is apparently less climate-friendly than assumed. Like from one Report of the “taz” shows, the transatlantic trip with the sailing yacht “Malizia” produces more climate-damaging CO2 than if she had flown to the USA with her father.

The article is based on a statement by the press spokesman for Thunberg’s German skipper Boris Herrmann. Accordingly, five sailors would bring the boat back to Europe after Thunberg arrived with the crew in the USA.

This new crew for the transfer of the boat will travel to the USA by plane. For the organization of the sailing trip, with which Thunberg actually wanted to generate as few greenhouse gases as possible, at least six flights are planned. If Thunberg had traveled alone by plane with her father, it would have been four.

Herrmann’s spokesman told SPIEGEL that the “Malizia” team had been offsetting all its climate-damaging activities since 2018 – including all trips. “It goes without saying that the ‘Malizia’ team compensates for all flights – and not only those that are now being made in connection with Greta’s trip,” but also all trips to regattas. In the past year, the team neutralized 40 tons and will publish the associated report. “We are aware that such a compensation cannot and should not wash our conscience clean,” said the spokesman. “It’s not an ideal solution, but the least we can do to compensate.”

With CO2 compensation, those who cause CO2 donate money to organizations such as atmosfair or myclimate. With the donations, these providers finance climate-friendly projects, the CO2 savings of which they can precisely measure. For example, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by a flight can be offset against the savings – and is then referred to as balanced. However, it is questionable whether Greta Thunberg would then not have been able to fly herself and directly offset her CO2 emissions.

The Swede plans to take part in the United Nations climate summit in September. Because air travel causes a lot of carbon dioxide, the 16-year-old decided to travel by sailboat. The “Malizia” is equipped with solar systems and underwater turbines to generate electricity.

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The Swede The aim is to rapidly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions so that the rise in global temperature can ideally be limited to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. To date, the temperature has increased by almost one degree compared to the pre-industrial era.

Thunberg demands that the world must listen to the findings of research and act in the fight against the climate crisis. “The window to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius is closing very quickly. That is why I am taking this trip,” she said. How the Swede will travel back to Europe is not yet certain. Maybe she will go on a container ship, it said.

Note: In an earlier version it was said that the press officer is also flying back. That’s not the case.

Icon: The mirror

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