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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in Hampton, Va., on Tuesday aboard La Vagabonde, the boat she's taking to return to Europe. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg says she can attend the United Nations' climate summit in Spain after all — she's due to set sail across the Atlantic aboard an Australian couple's 48-foot catamaran from Hampton, Va., on Wednesday morning.

The big picture: Thunberg won't fly because of the carbon footprint of air transport. Madrid stepped in to host the Dec. 2–13 UN climate summit after Chile canceled last minute owing to national protests over economic instability.

  • Thunberg requested assistance to attend the talks following the announcement, saying: "It turns out I've traveled half around the world, the wrong way."

What they're saying: Aussies Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, who are documenting their voyage around the world via their Youtube channel "Sailing La Vagabonde," said in a joint statement with Thunberg they decided to help because Thunberg's climate cause is one that's close to their hearts.

  • Thunberg said in the statement that finding a boat "ready to sail back across the North Atlantic in late November is not easy."
  • "But it's amazing to see how many people there are who are willing to help, like Riley, Elayna and Nikki," she said. "By sailing I once again want to highlight the fact that it’s basically impossible to live sustainable in today's societies."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
21 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's plan to upend Trump's environmental legacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will on Wednesday order a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules.

Why it matters: New information from transition officials offers the full scope of Biden's imminent, inauguration-day burst of environmental and energy policy moves.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
22 mins ago - Health

The public health presidency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden will take office today facing a challenge none of his modern predecessors have had to reckon with — his legacy will depend largely on how well he handles a once-in-a-century pandemic that's already raging out of control.

The big picture: Public health tends to be relatively apolitical and non-controversial. The limelight in health care politics typically belongs instead to debates over costs and coverage. But that will all change for the Biden administration.

D.C. braces for economic hit from scaled-back inauguration

Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The days leading up to and including Inauguration Day typically generate $31.4 million in additional sales for D.C. businesses — but not this year.

Why it matters: Washington's economy is already suffering from pandemic-induced closures, and could very much use the revelry and tourist dollars that Inauguration Day brings — instead of the large bills that will pile up if there's further mayhem or if visitors continue to stay away.