Plymouth’s reputation as a departure point for historic voyages was cemented today with an epic send off for climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
The world’s best known climate change campaigner set sail from Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, for her historic – and gruelling trip – across the Atlantic on board the zero-carbon sailboat, Malize II.
Team Malize skippered by Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann, is sailing Greta and her father Svante Thunberg in the foiling boat, which has solar panels and underwater turbines to allow for a zero-carbon, trans-Atlantic voyage.
The racing boat left Plymouth Wednesday afternoon (14 August) and will arrive in New York in around two weeks time, making no stops on the way.
The world’s media including Sky, Associated Press, Blomberg, Reuters, the BBC and the Times to name a few, were in Plymouth to say Bon Voyage to Greta on her journey.
Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans OBE was also at the waterside to welcome her to Plymouth.
He said: “To hear the words ‘I don’t know how I am going to get home’ from a 16-year-old who is just about to sail the Atlantic for the first time, just shows the bravery, commitment and passion Greta has for protecting the environment. To have this event – which could change the world entirely – happen in Plymouth is entirely fitting.
This is a city with a strong history of pioneering spirit and looking beyond the horizon. It was a great day for Plymouth and we wish her a safe journey.”
Plymouth City Council declared a climate emergency earlier this year and has been taking measures to tackle climate change.
Just this week Plymouth’s huge event, the British Firework Championships has seen the rules tightened and fireworks with plastic pods are now banned from the contest.
It is currently working to declare its ambition to become country’s first ever marine park – to lead the way in caring for the UK’s marine environment as much as it does the countryside.
Plymouth is a global centre of excellence for marine science and technology with one of the largest clusters of expertise in Europe.
This extends across marine technology, renewables, cruise and leisure marine to boatbuilding and shipping. It is also home to prestigious marine environmental institutions such as the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.