Why Greta Thunberg refused to fly to US to attend the United Nations Climate Change Summit?

Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist sailed to New York City in a boat, refusing a Trans-

Atlantic flight as because aircraft emissions are known pollute the atmosphere, fostering climate change. But first of all, it may be  worthwhile exploring who actually Greta Thunberg is and what is her mission.

Greta Thunberg and her mission

The teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has come to limelight on account of her Environmental campaign against the harmful effects of climate change. In August 2018, when aged 15, Thunberg started single-handed fight against climate change by striking from school. She has since been joined by tens of thousands of school and university students in more than a dozen countries in CLIMATE STRIKES that have turned into stirring events all over the world.

 A global strike in March drew more than a million people, going over in September by the biggest yet with at least 4 million. Thunberg has described the rapid spread of the strikes around the world as amazing. “It proves you are never too small to make a difference,” she commented. Her protests were probably inspired by US students who staged walkouts to demand better gun controls in response to multiple school shootings.


Meanwhile, veteran climate activists have expressed surprise and wonder at such heavy impact Thunberg has had on public awareness in such a short time, which however has been caused due to her sincerity and stubbornness following her mission.

Spreading her message

In the interim period, Thunberg has not been keeping idle but began travelling to spread her message beyond her mother country Sweden. Speaking at the United Nations climate conference in December 2018, she rebuked some of the world leaders for behaving like irresponsible children. And in January 2019 she became harsher while addressing global business personas in Davos: “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”

In September 2019 she condemned world leaders in an emotional speech at the UN, telling them: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

Nominated for Nobel Prize

Incidentally, Greta Thunberg has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by the Swedish academy.

Environmental impact of aviation- Why Thunberg disliked flying

Environmental impact of aviation takes place because aircraft engines (regardless of whether Boeings, Airbuses, Tupoleves and others) invariably emit high degree of noise (jet engines), heat, particulates and gases that contribute to climate change and global warming. They also emit hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxides, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, lead as well as black carbon which interact among themselves and with the atmosphere.

Environmental cost of air travel is much more than of surface travel

We hear much about the environmental costs of air travel However, the issue is not confined to the fact that  aircrafts burn a lot of fuel and so kicks out much more CO2 per passenger since there are a mighty load of other high-altitude impacts such as vapor trails and ozone production that are estimated to cause as much warming as the good old CO2. Hence we often hear that although air travel accounts for only a small fraction of global emissions (relatively few people can afford to fly), one transatlantic flight can add as much to your carbon footprint as a typical year's worth of motoring.

Unregulated carbon pollution makes it all the more difficult

Unregulated carbon pollution from aviation is the fastest-growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions ushering in global climate change at a faster rate. To be truthful, if the entire aviation sector were to be considered a country, it would no doubt be one of the top 10 carbon-polluting nations in the world.

The worst part of the story is that it will worsen as demand for air travel soars. In 2010, the aviation industry carried 2.4 billion passengers; in 2050, that number is forecast to rise to 16 billion. Without action, emissions from increased air travel will triple by 2050.