Greta Thunberg late to COP 25 climate meeting in Madrid, still sailing across Atlantic

Greta Thunberg is late to the COP 25 climate meeting in Madrid, Spain. After hitching a ride with an Australian couple travelling the world by boat so she would make it on time.

Ms Thunberg broke the news of her late arrival to the conference of the parties on Monday: "We're speeding towards Europe!

"Estimated time of arrival right now is Tuesday morning [local time]. We'll be arriving at Doca de Alcantara, Lisbon. We are all looking forward to see you there!"

The first day of the conference, slated to run until December 13, saw UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres declare "the point of no return is no longer over the horizon".

Mr Guterres warned: "In the crucial 12 months ahead, it is essential that we secure more ambitious national commitments — particularly from the main emitters — to immediately start reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a pace consistent to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

"We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions."

The summit, which moved to the Spanish capital Madrid after Chile had to pull out amid anti-government protests, aims to put the finishing touches to the rules governing the 2015 Paris accord.

That involves creating a functioning international emissions-trading system and compensating poor countries for losses they suffer from rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.

Ms Thunberg had travelled from Sweden to California by boat, train and electric car and was on track to attend the next round of climate negotiations in Santiago until the meetings were moved to Madrid and she was forced to find a way to get to Europe.

The 16-year-old tweeted from Los Angeles at the time: "As #COP25 has officially been moved from Santiago to Madrid I'll need some help."

"It turns out I've travelled half around the world, the wrong way. Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November … If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful."

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