It is claimed that this would generate more emissions than the yacht saves and threatens to leave the 16-year-old’s plans to chart an environmentally friendly route to the United States in tatters.
On Wednesday, the Swedish eco-campaigner left Plymouth on the Malizia II for a two-week journey to the United Nations headquarters where she will address a climate change meeting.
But last night, it was confirmed that two crew will have to fly to the US east coast city to man the 60ft yacht on its return.
‘We added the trip to New York City at very short notice, and as a result two people will need to fly over to the US in order to bring the boat back,’ a Team Malizia spokeswoman told the Times.
She added: ‘The world has not yet found a way to make it possible to cross an ocean without a carbon footprint.’
And a further two sailors who are currently on board the Malizia II with Greta may use air travel to get back to Europe.