The BBC has spoken about its decision to fly a journalist to Sweden to meet climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
In August of this year, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth to attend climate change conferences in New York and Chile. She is also well known for taking trains when travelling within Europe.
However, the BBC decided that eschewing air travel wasn't an option when presenter Mishal Husain was dispatched to Sweden to interview Thunberg for Radio 4's Today programme. The 16-year-old climate change campaigner is guest editing a special episode of the programme which airs on Monday, 30th December.
“We did discuss that among ourselves,” the programme's editor Sarah Sands told The Sunday Times. “It felt awkward but we did not have the time for trains or boats.”
Sands confirmed that the journalist's flight caused no friction between Thunberg and the BBC, saying: "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. Change has to be collective.”
Seven women recently told Refinery29 why they have given up air travel because of growing flight shame.
Mikaela, 21, from Edinburgh, said: "I wouldn't say I'd completely never fly again. But for now, I'm not. I went on holiday to France with my partner in the summer and we went by train. It can take a bit longer but travelling to France by train used 99% less carbon than if we'd had taken a flight, so it was worth it."
Alice, 27, from London, said that she believes the travel industry will provide more (and better) alternatives to air travel as flight shame becomes more prevalent.
"The more young people we have who are inspirational by travelling like Greta Thunberg, who didn't fly to her conference, the higher the demand for travelling sustainably," she said. "So, the industry will have to provide those methods more regularly, cheaply and readily to keep up with the youth of today."