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.
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.