Pedal power: Swedish cyclist travels to Egypt to raise climate awareness
‘Stop climate change': To deliver this crucial message, a 72-year-old activist Dorothee Hildebrandt pedaled thousands of miles from Sweden to Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. On her pink electric bicycle, which she fondly calls Miss Piggy, after the temperamental character from The Muppet Show — she took a trip of more than four months. She went past Europe and the Middle East until she arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.
Hildebrandt's goal was to reach the annual UN climate conference, also known as COP27, to raise awareness and urge world leaders to take concrete steps to stop climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and this needs to be halved by 2030 in order to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord of 2015.
It's been a week since the activist arrived at the summit and she travels to the venue everyday, some 15 kilometers or 9 miles from the conference center, to meet other activists and to attend events. Her e-bike has become a center of attraction as many people are keen to take photos with her around the conference venue. “They really have to stop climate change," Hildebrandt told AP, referring to the world leaders. “Even if it is uncomfortable."
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She added that though this long bike ride was uncomfortable for her, she wanted to show that if there's a will, there is a way. "It was uncomfortable for me... this long ride," she said. But she wanted to show that if there's a will, "you can do it," she said.
Hildebrandt got her first bicycle at the age of 10 and since then, she hasn't stopped pedaling. She said that her activism and biking, which she documents on social media, is for the children and further generations of the world.