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Swedish teen's 'zero-carbon yacht' trip to New York is not so green after all

It's been revealed that trans-Atlantic flights will be required for the crew

Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Sixteen-year-old Swedish eco-campaigner Greta Thunberg is currently on her way across the Atlantic ocean on a zero-carbon yacht, headed for New York to address the United Nations regarding climate change policy.

But the two-week voyage that's been widely-hailed for its environmentally-friendly mode of travel has now fallen under scrutiny, as it has been revealed that carbon-guzzling trans-Atlantic flights will be utilized by the boat's crew for the round trip.

What are the details?

Miss Thunberg has garnered international attention for environmental initiatives, and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in March. She told The New York Times ahead of her journey across the ocean on the boat Maliza II, "By doing this it also shows how impossible it is today to live sustainable. That, in order to travel with zero emissions, that we have to sail like this across the Atlantic Ocean."

Apparently, it's even more impossible to travel without a carbon footprint than some might have imagined. The Times of London revealed Friday that Thunberg's solar-powered yacht trip "may generate more emissions than it saves because of flights taken by the crew."

The Times reported that two sailors will be flying into New York to man the 60-foot vessel back to Europe, and two of the crew members currently on the yacht may fly home.

According to a spokeswoman for Team Mazila, "We added the trip to New York City at very short notice, and as a result two people need to fly over to the U.S. in order to bring the boat back," the Daily Mail reported. "The world has not yet found a way to make it possible to cross an ocean without a carbon footprint."

Anything else?

Thunberg has been campaigning for all countries to "cut emissions in line with the Paris climate accord," CBS News reported. When the teenager was asked if she would be open to meeting with President Donald Trump during her visit to the U.S., she said, "Why should I waste time talking to him when he, of course, is not going to listen to me?"


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