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Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg waves from the Malizia II boat next to German yachtsman Boris Herrmann, as she starts her trans-Atlantic boat trip to New York, in Plymouth, Britain, on August 14, 2019. Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via Reuters

Eco-activist Greta Thunberg sets sail for New York

PLYMOUTH, England (AP) — Eco-activist Greta Thunberg has set sail from the English coastline for New York as part of her campaign to pressure politicians to put climate change at the top of their agendas.

The Malizia II caught the wind mid-afternoon Wednesday and the sleek sailboat sped away from Plymouth on its two-week journey.

The 16-year-old activist is hitching a ride on the high-tech yacht to attend the U.N. climate summits next month in New York and in Santiago, Chile, in December. She has decided to take a year off from school to travel.

The 60-foot (18-meter) yacht is outfitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate electricity, allowing Thunberg to make a zero-carbon trans-Atlantic journey.

The sailboat is built for high-speed, offshore racing, with weight kept to a minimum. The only alterations for the voyage are fitting curtains in front of the bunk and adding mattresses for comfort. There is no toilet or fixed shower. There’s a small gas cooker and the food will be freeze dried.

Thunberg says there will be challenges ahead, such as seasickness, but that she is looking forward to the adventure.

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