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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/3/19

"We Are Facing a Global Emergency": Greta Thunberg Arrives Back in Europe to Attend Climate Talks

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From Stockholm, Sweden, we're covering the 40th Anniversary of the Right Livelihood Awards, widely known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize." This year's recipients include 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who arrived Tuesday in Lisbon, Portugal, after traveling for three weeks across the Atlantic in the 48-foot catamaran La Vagabonde, refusing to fly because of the high carbon footprint of air travel.

Thunberg was on her way to attend COP25 in Santiago, Chile, when the conference was abruptly relocated due to mass demonstrations against a proposed subway fare hike. She sounded a rallying cry to fellow youth climate activists as she made landfall in Lisbon, promising to ensure that young people have a seat at the table at the upcoming climate summit in Madrid. "We will continue to make sure within those walls, the voices of the people ... especially from the global South are being heard," she says.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: You have been listening to the news conference that is being held as Greta Thunberg has made her way to Lisbon, Portugal. We are going now to return to that news conference, which Greta will be addressing.

CLIMATE ACTIVIST: I would just like to say a few comments about the trip. It is not really recommended to cross the North Atlantic this time of year...

CLIMATE ACTIVIST: in whatever way we can, whether it's sailing across the Atlantic, looking after your child, traveling around America, researching. However you want to do it, I hope that by working together we can do it in a much easier and better way.

AUDIENCE: [cheers and applause]

CLIMATE ACTIVIST: Now, Greta Thunberg.

AUDIENCE: [cheers and applause]

GRETA THUNBERG: First of all, thank you everyone so much for coming here and for welcoming us. It feels very good, doesn't it, to be welcomed in such a way? So thank you so much. And of course, thank you to Elayna, Riley, Lenny and Nikki for making this possible. I owe you so much. And just thank you. Thank you everyone else who has been helping us, for making this possible. I am so grateful for having done this trip and for having this experience. And I am so honored to be here in beautiful Lisbon in Portugal. Thank you so much for having us here.

And also after a trip like this, for being isolated three weeks, for being in such a limited space with such limited things to do, you get very relaxed in a way. You're disconnected from everything and everyone, basically. For coming into land, it is so overwhelming. So I think all of us are still a bit overwhelmed, so you will have to bear with us. And especially having all of these people greeting you, it feels amazing but our brains are not used to it yet.

AUDIENCE: [cheers and applause]

GRETA THUNBERG: It feels so amazing to be home back in Europe. I have been on quite an adventure. We have all been on quite an adventure. It feels good to be back. Of course, I, as well as the other climate activists, we will not stop. We will continue to do whatever we can.

AUDIENCE: [cheers and applause]

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