World

Climate activist Greta hitches Aussie ride

By AAP Newswire

Stranded teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has embarked on a new expedition across the Atlantic after hitching a ride on a catamaran with an adventurous Australian family.

"We sail for home!" Thunberg triumphantly tweeted on Wednesday to her 2.96 million followers.

The Swedish 16-year-old needs to depart the US and be in Spain by November 2 for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

There was a sticking point.

She only travels the globe by boat, electric cars, trains or other methods to avoid producing carbon emissions.

Australian couple Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, along with their 11-month-old son Lenny, are sailing around the world on their 15-metre catamaran, La Vagabonde.

They saw Thunberg's predicament and reached out to her via social media.

On Wednesday the teenager, her father Svante, English sailor Nikki Henderson and the Australians set sail from Virginia for Spain.

"We successfully left the shores of Virginia this morning and on our way across the Atlantic with @GretaThunberg @NikkiHenderson," Mr Whitelum, from South Australia, tweeted.

Thunberg has inspired millions across the globe with her youth-led movement, Fridays for Future, based on the school strikes she held outside Swedish parliament.

She sailed from the UK to New York in August to address the UN Climate Action Summit.

Next month's UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, was originally scheduled in Chile, but political instability in the South American nation forced it to be moved to Madrid.

"So happy to say I'll hopefully make it to COP25 in Madrid," Thunberg wrote.

"I've been offered a ride from Virginia on the 48ft catamaran La Vagabonde."

Mr Whitelum and Ms Carausu, without previous sailing experience, set off on their global adventure in 2014 and have documented it on YouTube.

They have more than one million subscribers.

Their catamaran is equipped with hydro-generators and solar panels for power.

"We've crossed the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific, and are now raising our boy Lenny on our boat as well," their website states.

"We've suffered terrifying storms, pirate scares, financial breakdowns, equipment failures, water shortages, and other interesting mishaps but we wouldn't trade living on the sea and going where the wind takes us for anything."

It is expected to take 14 days to cross the Atlantic.

The public can follow their voyage via sailing-lavagabonde.com