36 climate activists set sail from Amsterdam to the global climate conference

36 young climate activists set sail from Amsterdam yesterday, headed for the global climate conference in Chile. Joining Greta Thunberg in the no-fly movement, they are working on ways to make travel more sustainable.

The activists are from all across Europe, but ‘Sail to the COP’ is a Dutch initiative, created by four Dutch climate activists, demanding a radical shift within the travel industry. Currently, the aviation industry is “the most polluting and fastest growing form of transport”, according to co-founder Jeppe Bijker. ‘Sail to the COP’ is hoping to address this problem on an international stage.

At sea for seven weeks

Sailing aboard the Regina Maris, the activists will be at sea for about seven weeks. They will sail to Rio de Janeiro, and from there take the bus to Chile. There will also be a captain and a five-member trained crew aboard the ship. During the seven week long journey, the activists will form a think tank to brainstorm ways to make travelling more environmentally friendly.

The team of 36 young activists sailing to the COP. Image: Sail to the COP

Making travel sustainable

Their aim is to level the playing field, making travelling by sea, train, bus or bike more appealing to people, in comparison to flying. In the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the aviation industry was exempted from environmental regulation, and has remained so ever since. It is also exempted from carbon taxes, while the more sustainable forms of transportation (like trains and buses) are not.

Do you have any ideas which would make travel more sustainable? And what do you think of this initiative? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: Sail to the COP.

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


  1. At sea for 7 weeks!

    Sure I’ll give up all my precious time and take 7 weeks off work instead of flying. Oh! Hang on, these idiots aren’t working are they?

    It’s not as though the Regina Marris doesn’t have a diesel engine or two. Oh! Hang on, it does have two diesel engines

    It’s not as though everything they wear, own, use, navigate by, consume owes it’s availability to evil fossil fuels. Oh! Hang on, their cosseted lives wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for fossil fuels.


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