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.
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.
Thunberg started a a series of school strikes for the climate, which have 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.
Thunberg arrived in New York in August after a 15-day, 4,800km voyage across the Atlantic to take part in a UN climate summit.
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.”