Belgium’s Anuna De Wever will follow in the footsteps of youth climate activist Greta Thunberg and sail across the Atlantic to attend the COP25 climate summit in Chile.
De Wever, a central figure of the Youth for Climate marches in Belgium, will be joined on the trip by some thirty other youth climate activists from around Europe, including Adélaïde Charlier, the Belgian movement’s lesser-known French-speaking leader.
The initiative, dubbed Sail to the COP, aims to raise awareness about the negative effects of the flying industry on climate and promote global policy initiatives for a “future-proof travel industry.”
“We want to make it easier, more affordable and more attractive to choose sustainable travel options like going by train, bus and bike,” a statement by the group reads.
The group will set sail on a three-mast sailboat from the Dutch port of The Hague on October 2, and their six to seven-week journey will see them disembark in Rio De Janeiro mid-November, according to MO*.
The group are then expected to complete the remaining part of their journey by bus in order to join international leaders in the Chilean capital city of Santiago for the 25th edition of the United Nation’s climate summit, set to take place from December 2 to 13.
The announcement comes as Swedish climate campaigner Thunberg, who kicked-off the global youth movement for climate, said at the start of the week that she was half-way through her own sailing trip to the United States.
Hitting back at criticism aimed at Thunberg after reports emerged that a crew would have to fly to the U.S. to retrieve the boat, De Wever said the criticism was “completely ridiculous.”
“With her trip, Greta is just making a statement about the fact that much more needs to be invested in climate-friendly travel options,” she told Het Nieuwsblad.