Bad weather over the Atlantic – which she is crossing under sail as we write – has delayed Greta Thunberg’s arrival in Portugal, meaning that she won’t now have the time to address parliament as planned (click here).
Lisbon’s mayor and other dignitaries and politicians will be meeting her tomorrow at Alcântara docks from which the young climate activist will be heading to the UN climate summit in Madrid.
Explain reports, President Marcelo won’t be attending as he has said he “doesn’t want to make political capital” out of the occasion.
Talking to journalists yesterday, Marcelo admitted to “thinking twice” about whether or not he should personally welcome Greta – erring on the side of taking what he called ‘a more discreet approach’ to the whole issue of climate change.
He stressed nonetheless that it is a “great happiness” to have the 16-year-old campaigner “among us and a mobilising factor for everyone”.
Greta’s arrival in Portugal has been extremely fortuitous.
Initially, the UN climate summit COP25 was planned for Chile – for which reason the young Swede who refuses to fly because of carbon emissions sailed across the Atlantic in a racing yacht fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines but devoid of ‘basics’ like a lavatory, shower or kitchen.
Then, when Chile ducked out of the fixture due to massive social unrest, Greta found herself literally on the wrong side of the planet.
Luck brought her into contact with two ‘Youtubers’ who agreed to take her across the Atlantic on their 48-foot catamaran La Vagabonde.
Much has been made of La Vaga’s skipper having flown out to New York to ‘bring Greta back to Europe’ at huge ‘carbon emission cost’, but the main point is that the young activist has shown it is perfectly possible to travel anywhere without destroying the planet: it just takes time, good luck and, in this case, good winds.