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Belgian climate activists leave for climate conference by sailboat

18:00 02/10/2019

Two of Belgium’s leading youth climate activists boarded a sailboat in Amsterdam on Wednesday to travel to a climate conference in Chile.

Anuna De Wever and Adélaïde Charlier, both leading figures of the Youth for Climate Belgium organisation, will be travelling with three dozen other activists who will also attend COP25, a UN climate conference taking place in Chile in December.

“By travelling by sailboat we want to draw attention to the relfection we should make when it comes to how we travel,” Charlier (pictured left) told De Standaard. “Air travel figures are set to double and that is not a step in the right direction.”

The ‘Sail to the COP’ initiative appears to have been inspired by a recent decision by the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to travel to a UN climate summit in New York by boat rather than taking a fossil-fuelled, long-haul flight.

The journey by sailboat is expected to take six to eight weeks and will mark the first leg of their journey. After arriving in Brazil, the youths will take a bus to Chile, where they plan to raise the voice of youth at the COP25 climate negotiations.

The boat was normally supposed to leave from Scheveningen in the Netherlands, but the departure was moved to Amsterdam due to poor weather conditions.

Written by Linda A. Thompson

Photo: Belga / Evert Elzinga