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NBC's Today Goes to the Ends of the Earth to Be Green

NBC’sToday will go to the ends of the earth, literally, for a series of reports on the environment.

Part of NBC Universal’s “Green Is Universal” initiative, the weeklong series begins Nov. 5 and will have Matt Lauer report from the Artic Circle, with Ann Curry in the South Pole and Al Roker from the equatorial jungles of Ecuador.

Meredith Vieira will stay in New York to handle environmental-policy reporting (and to be on hand in the event of breaking news, of course). The series will culminate with a live simultaneous broadcast from each locale.

The Today series, said Lauren Zalaznick, chairperson of the NBCU Green Council, characterized the Today series as “the first step toward an ongoing initiative.

And while Today executive producer Jim Bell acknowledged that sending correspondents and support staff to such inhospitable far-flung locales requires a lot of equipment, he said steps will be taken to make sure the trip is as environmentally friendly as possible. He declined to offer specifics, however, saying that the excursion was still in the planning stages.

“We need to be aware of what we’re doing,” Bell said, “and we’re going to examine it and consider how we can [reduce] our carbon footprint on this.”

“I’m a father of three young kids,” Lauer said, “and I have an SUV. How can we all do better? Can we all be carbon-neutral? Probably not. But we can all do better.”