After a three-week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in Portugal on Tuesday. She told a crowd of cheering fans that the trip “energized” her to continue the fight against climate change

After a few days in Lisbon, the Swedish 16-year-old will head to Spain to attend COP25, the United Nations climate conference in Madrid. The conference was originally scheduled to take place in Chile, and it was unclear whether Thunberg would make it to Europe in time when the location change was announced a month ago. 

“We’ve all been on quite an adventure,” Thunberg told The Associated Press shortly after stepping off the boat. “It feels good to be back.”

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Thunberg and her father hitched a ride from the U.S. with an Australian family and professional sailor on the 48-foot catamaran La Vagabonde. She refuses to travel by plane to avoid contributing to a heavy carbon footprint, using trains as her primary transportation throughout Europe and zero-emission boats for larger trips. 


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“I am not traveling like this because I want everyone to do so,” said Thunberg. “I’m doing this to sort of send the message that it is impossible to live sustainable today, and that needs to change. It needs to become much easier.” 

In the year since Thunberg inspired a global youth movement against climate change, the teen has repeatedly stared down politicians, criticizing their lack of action in saving the planet. “You have stolen my dreams,” she recently told the U.N. General Assembly in New York. 

“I think people are underestimating the force of angry kids,” Thunberg said. “If they want us to stop being angry, then maybe they should stop making us angry.”

“We will continue the fight there to make sure that within those walls the voices of the people are being heard,” she continued.

Around 25,000 people — including politicians, business leaders, scientists and activists from nearly 200 countries — will meet at the conference to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis. No senior members of the Trump administration are in attendance, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with a 15-member congressional delegation and a diplomatic team, is representing the U.S.

Day 20. Our last day on the ocean! We can now almost smell land! We expect to arrive at Doca de Santo Amaro, Lisbon sometime between 8.00-10.00 tomorrow morning. @_nikkihenderson @elayna.carausu @riley.whitelum

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According to a new report from the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, 2019 is likely to be the second or third warmest year on record, closing out what is expected to be the hottest decade ever record, due to “greenhouse gases from human activities.” 

“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in the press release. “We are nowhere near on track to meet the Paris Agreement target.”

The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, was a historic resolution signed by 195 nations and the European Union, requiring signed countries to keep the rise in the global average temperature “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and “endeavor to limit” them even more, to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, compared with pre-industrial levels. 

President Trump officially began the process to withdraw the United States from the agreement last month. It won’t become official until at least a day after the 2020 presidential election.


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