French soccer club under fire for appearing to belittle climate change

Members of France's top-league soccer club Paris-Saint Germain have drawn public criticism after they laughed off comments about the team using an eco-unfriendly private jet for a short trip.

The team took a private jet on Saturday to get to a match in Nantes, located 380 kilometers west of Paris.

A senior official of France's state-owned railway operator tweeted that a trip from Paris to Nantes takes less than two hours by TGV bullet trains. The official suggested that the team ride trains for short-distance travel because they emit less greenhouse gases.

Coach Christophe Galtier and ace striker Kylian Mbappe were asked about this at a news conference on Monday.
They looked at each other, then burst out laughing.

Galtier joked that they had discussions that morning about traveling on sand yachts.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on TV on Tuesday it was the least opportune moment for giggles, and that they must all take climate change seriously.

Social media users have said the team lacks common sense.

Local media say Galtier apologized on Tuesday for what he described as a bad joke.

France and other parts of Europe have been battered this year by record heat waves and drought, which are said to be linked to climate change.