Putting a presenter on a flight to Sweden to meet climate activist Greta Thunberg “felt awkward”, the editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has admitted.
The 16-year-old campaigner, who was a guest editor on a special edition of the show, avoids air travel because of its environmental impact.
The BBC sent presenter Mishal Husain on a return flight to Stockholm to interview her.
“We did discuss that among ourselves,” programme editor Sarah Sands told the Sunday Times. “It felt awkward but we did not have the time for trains or boats.”
The paper said the trip to Stockholm is estimated to have amounted to almost half a tonne of CO2 emissions per person.
Greta started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018, which has since spread all over the world to involve more than 100,000 schoolchildren.
She takes a stand against more polluting forms of transport by sailing rather than flying or travelling in cars.
Greta arrived in New York in August after a 15-day, 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic to take part in a UN climate summit.
She sailed from Plymouth in the UK on a zero-emissions yacht to limit the carbon footprint of her travel.
She then set sail in November to Madrid to attend the UN’s annual climate change conference, which will next year be held in Glasgow.
Ms Sands said: “Greta is not actually judgmental towards individuals, accepting that other people will not all conform to her high standards and asking only for people to do what they can.”