Greta Thunberg has arrived in Madrid to join thousands of other young people in a march to demand world leaders take real action against climate change.
The Spanish capital is hosting United Nations-sponsored talks aimed at streamlining the rules on global carbon markets and agreeing on how poor countries should be compensated for destruction largely caused by emissions from rich nations.
The two-week talks come as scientific evidence mounts about disasters that could ensue from further global warming, including a study commissioned by 14 sea-faring nations due to be published on Friday that predicts that unchecked climate change could devastate fishery industries and coral reef tourism.
That could cause hundreds of billions of dollars in losses by 2050, says the report, adding that limiting global warming would lessen the economic impact for coastal countries but that they also need to adapt to ocean changes.
The presence in Madrid of Greta was expected to shift the attention to demands for greater action by non-governmental organisations and a new generation of environment-minded activists.
Past appearances by the 16-year-old have won her plaudits from some leaders — and criticism from others who have taken offence at the angry tone of her speeches.
An advocate for carbon-free transport, Thunberg travelled by train overnight from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, where she arrived earlier this week after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from the United States by catamaran.
That became necessary after a sudden change of venue for the COP25 summit following a wave of anti-government protests that hit Chile, the original host.
On arrival, Greta was received by a media scrum. Wearing a hoodie and carrying her luggage, the activist and her father Svante quickly walked to a car that drove them out of Madrid’s northern station.