Plymouth (dpa) - It's a comfortless floor that will take Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic. 18 meters long is the state-of-the-art sailing yacht "Malizia". The mast juts 29 meters in the slightly cloudy sky over the English port town of Plymouth.
The wind is good, the heavy rain from the morning is over, and even the sun sometimes shows up. Then finally it starts.
The 16-year-old climate activist waves one last time to the cheers of around 200 supporters and onlookers waiting at the pier of the "Mayflower Marina" and at the harbor bay, before returning with the high-tech boat and professional sailors Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi Lake stings.
Thunberg are facing two exhausting weeks until they dock at their destination port in New York. With the "Malizia", it is flying across the Atlantic without emissions, but not very comfortably. For her fight against the climate crisis, the young Swede likes to take on the hardships. Maybe she'll get seasick. "But I have to endure," says Thunberg on Wednesday shortly before her departure. "This is not that bad. Many more people in the world suffer from much worse. »
Therefore, she wants to participate in the United States with heads of state and government at the UN climate summit and promote their climate struggle. Could she even convince Donald Trump of her concern? "No!", Says Thunberg and grins.
She took books and board games to spend time on the boat. And she reveals a stuffed rabbit that she got as a present. In addition to the impressive ocean-going yacht, the already small, slim climate activist looks almost tiny. That she is not much more than 1.50 meters tall, should be on board the "Malizia" but beneficial. Because below deck there is little space and even less comfort for the crew, to which besides the two sailing professionals and Thunberg also their father Svante and a documentary filmmaker belong.
"Of course this will be a challenge for everyone on the boat, you have to assume," says Thunberg calmly. In two narrow berths below deck, it can get loud at high speed. There is virtually nothing that offers comfort - no kitchen and not even a loo, but a plastic bucket. Privacy? None.
The racing boat with red wings and a carbon hull is just trimmed for speed. Carbon is particularly suitable when a vehicle should be light. However, its carbon footprint is controversial because fibers and plastic are usually made from petroleum and a lot of energy is needed in production. But just before the departure is not an issue.
Less than a year ago, Thunberg began protesting for a more courageous use of politics against the climate crisis. After hearing about global warming as a child and dealing with its aftermath for years, she sat down in front of the Reichstag in Stockholm in August 2018 to call on Sweden's politicians to act and meet the Paris climate goals. This is what the international climate protection movement Fridays for Future has developed. Young people all over the world are now taking to the streets on Thunberg's model for the climate.
"No one heard my voice in the beginning," says Thunberg in Plymouth, encouraging a young fan. "I just tried everything possible until I found my way to be listened to. You have to be creative. There is so much to do. »
The Atlantic crossing is the temporary highlight for Thunberg. "If I could choose one thing to accomplish with this journey, then it is an increased awareness of people that they understand we have an emergency, and we know what we need to do now to avoid the worst consequences . "
Thunberg lives up to the ideal of a climate-conscious person: she eats vegan food and avoids flying because of greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes. But she does not want to dictate to others. "I do not tell anyone what to do or to do."
The 16-year-old has Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. She usually speaks very quietly, but always finds clear words. Impressive messages such as those at the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland or at the World Economic Forum in Davos made them famous. On Twitter she has around 890,000 followers. Shortly after the departure, she posts a photo of herself with a smile: "We are on our way."
Message about the sailing tour
Team "Malizia" to the boat
Thunberg's announcement of the journey
Thunberg on Instagram
Thunberg on Twitter
Thunberg on Facebook
Thunberg photo from the departure on Twitter