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Sending presenter by plane to meet Greta Thunberg ‘felt awkward’, says BBC

The BBC sent presenter Mishal Hussain on a return flight to Stockholm to interview the teenage climate activist.

Greta Thunberg with Mishal Hussain (BBC/PA)
Greta Thunberg with Mishal Hussain (BBC/PA)

By PA Reporters

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.

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Mishal Husain (Max Nash/PA)

Programme editor Sarah Sands told the Sunday Times: “We did discuss that among ourselves. 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 ton of carbon dioxide 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 is not actually judgmental towards individuals, accepting that other people will not all conform to her high standards Sarah Sands

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 from the US to a UN climate summit in Madrid, Spain.

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.”

PA

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