Greta Thunberg arrives in Europe by sailpower

Greta Thunberg is ready to set sail

Greta Thunberg with the Australian family who owns the catamaran and British sailor Nikki Henderson. Facebook

Climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday after crossing the Atlantic from NY aboard a catamaran ahead of her appearance at a summit in Madrid to demand urgent action on global warming.

She arrived at 12:45 GMT to a welcome ceremony attended by Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina.

She wanted a low-carbon form of transport to get to the climate meeting, which was switched at short notice to Spain from Chile due to unrest there.

Her arrival in Lisbon coincides with the release of a bleak report by the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization, which warns that the past decade is nearly certain to be the hottest yet recorded.

Rather than besmirch her status as an environmental activist by taking a carbon emissions-heavy air trip, Thunberg instead set sail on the 14-metre (45-foot) La Vagabonde catamaran on November 13 from Hampton, Virginia to return to Europe.

One person said this to the teen: "I have never in my entire life seen or heard a young lady of your age so mature, so well-grounded, such an incredible leader ( thank dear God this whole world has you to lead us all!), your so extremely articulate, passionate for your/our imperative, urgent cause for life & saving our world & planet!"

"We need that tremendous force in order to increase climate action".

Meanwhile, a report by the United Nations weather agency released on the sidelines of the climate talks found that the current decade is likely to set a new ten-year temperature record.

Levels of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide hit record levels previous year, the World Meteorological Organisation has said.

"Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than the last", the agency added. The UN Environment Programme has also warned emissions would have to fall by 7.6 per cent a year up to 2030 to limit temperature rises to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. "In contrast a large area of North America has been colder than the recent average", the United Nations said.

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