Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist, is facing some backlash after it became clear that her voyage to the United States may not have been as eco-friendly as it appeared.
Thunberg garnered global fame as she led a youth movement by skipping school to protest inaction on climate change in her home country of Sweden. Her small protest turned into a global demonstration where thousands of students skipped school to demonstrate on behalf of the planet.
Her demonstrations earned her both fame and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
As part of her global campaign, Thunberg decided she would visit the United States to speak with lawmakers and activists about her goals related to protecting the planet. The problem for Thunberg, however, was that flying across the Atlantic typically involves a carbon-producing flight.
She decided to sail across the pond for her trip to the U.S. in order to avoid a carbon-intensive flight.
Although Thunberg was lauded for the decision, it became clear that her trip to the U.S. was not as green as she had hoped. According to a report from the Associated Press, her sailing team is flying two people to the U.S. while Thunberg conducts her visit.
The sailing team, Team Malizia, only has one boat and will be flying to the U.S. to bring the boat back to Europe. A spokesperson for the team claimed that they will be donating to carbon-reducing endeavors to “compensate” for the carbon used on the flights.
The spokesperson called it “an imperfect solution” that was “better than doing nothing,” in an email to the A.P.
Many found the situation to be laughable, while others claimed the situation demonstrated the “hypocrisy” of the climate movement.
Dude. "We have to fly two people to the U.S. to retrieve the boat we used to send one person to the U.S. without flying" is peak green activism.
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) August 28, 2019
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, arrived in New York by boat because she wants to reduce her carbon footprint by not flying. Meanwhile… https://t.co/jRCjdXXPES
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) August 28, 2019
This is height of arrogance. When you think purchasing carbon credits or contributing to some "green" project you get absolution for your hypocrisy, you just mijght be an #elitist & #stupid. Sailing team to fly crew to US bring Thunberg boat back https://t.co/d04YYEyqQ9
— Michael Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) August 29, 2019
Thunberg arrived in New York on Wednesday. She plans to start her visit in the U.S. by joining protests outside the United Nations building in New York City.