Thirty-six environmentalists were four weeks into their “grueling voyage” by sailboat to Chile for a United Nations climate change summit, COP25, when they leaned the event had been canceled.
The activists, known as the Sail to the COP group, took a cue from young climate change figurehead Greta Thunberg and opted for a sailboat ride over a plane ride. According to CNN, Thunberg expressed her approval of Sail to the COP via Twitter at the end of October.
The activists, who left from Amsterdam, were halfway to Chile when they found out the devastating news.
“After a long assessment process, the Chilean Government has made the painful decision of not to host the Climate Summit COP25,” the COP25 Twitter account posted Wednesday.
After a long assessment process, the Chilean Government has made the painful decision of not to host the Climate Summit COP25. pic.twitter.com/bH0f1nOv0R
— COP25 (@COP25CL) October 30, 2019
As noted by CNN, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera pulled out as host of the summit “amid protests that have left at least 20 people dead and led to the resignation of eight cabinet ministers.”
“The Sail to the Group participants prove to be a strong and reliant group after four intense weeks of sailing,” the climate change activists posted in a statement on Thursday. “After the initial shock and sadness the news brought, everyone came together determined to continue what we started: putting the climate impact of aviation on the international agenda.”
Sail to the COP is now headed for Belém, Brazil, instead.
📢UPDATE: We are continuing our journey to Belém, Brasil today, while our thoughts are with #Chile! 🌊🌊From there we can still make it to a #COP25 held in Costa Rica or Bonn, most likely options at the moment. #ClimateAction is unstoppable! 🌏 pic.twitter.com/DP7u9TYYYh
— Sail to the COP (@sailtothecop) October 31, 2019
We are doing the first ever @GlobalClimathon on the Atlantic Ocean! Spread out over three days (instead of 24 hours) due to sailing tasks, we will finish tonight with a big pitching event in the ship’s saloon 🌊🍸🏆@ClimateKIC #ClimateCrisis #ClimateEmergency #flyless pic.twitter.com/n4LxIT4Fk5
— Sail to the COP (@sailtothecop) October 26, 2019
Thunberg, leading the charge for climate change extremism focused primarily on the West, gave a radical speech at the UN in September, where she warned of “mass extinction.”
“My message is that we’ll be watching you,” warned the 16-year-old. “This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope, how dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet, I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”
Thunberg continued: “How dare you pretend that this can be sold with just business as usual and some technical solutions with today’s emissions levels that remaining CO2 budgets will be entirely gone within less than 8 and a half years. There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you and if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now, is where we draw the line the world is waking up and change is coming whether you like it or not.”