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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Self-commitment short-haul flights

Climate-friendly business trips

[The collection of signatures at individual univeristies is now closed but we will soon start a nation-wide colelction. 545 members of the HU signed this statement. This is 23,2% of those who could fly in principle.]

Attending conferences or carrying out projects with national and international partners is on the one hand enriching and contributes to scientific understanding and problem solving, but on the other hand the associated trips are accompanied by considerable CO2 emissions.

CO2 emissions should play an important role in the choice of transport mode, in addition to aspects such as distance, feasibility and costs. Rail and other public transport have a significantly better CO2 balance than cars or airplanes.

Due to the altitude effect, flights are particularly harmful to the climate and are responsible for almost 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. ETH Zurich has established that half of its greenhouse gas emissions are caused by air travel.

Short-haul flights are particularly easy to replace with rail travel; depending on the route, a train trip causes app. 10% of the emissions of a corresponding flight (https://www.co2online.de/klima-schuetzen/mobilitaet/bahn-oder-flugzeug-der-vergleich/). On some connections the saving is particularly clear. For example, in the ÖBB night train from Berlin to Vienna, a passenger causes less than 5% of the emissions of a flight.

 

Call for self-commitment of the scientists at the HU Berlin

Motivated by Fridays4Future, a group of scientists (Scientists4Future) at the HU Berlin are active to strengthen the topic of climate protection at the HU and thus to make a more targeted statement. We take up initiatives by TU-Berlin (https://www.tu-berlin.de/ztg/menue/aktuelles/scientist4future/) and the University of Potsdam (https://www.uni-potsdam.de/de/umweltportal/handlungsfelder/mobilitaet/dienstreisen.html) to reduce CO2 emissions.

A first step towards making a significant contribution to climate protection in this area is to avoid short-haul flights. Short-haul flights include journeys of less than 1000 km, provided that they can be completed by rail in less than 12 hours. Although feeder flights should also be avoided, we have decided not to include them in the obligation. Another less effective but still important step is to compensate air travel by financing offsetting climate protection measures.

In order to show that we are serious about the topic of climate protection, we are launching an initiative for the self-commitment of scientists at HU Berlin. We will also ask you about your willingness to compensate and what you expect from HU Berlin in this respect. Answering these questions is of course voluntary. If the response is successful, this is certainly an important signal to the university management and to other universities in Berlin and beyond!

Since the next major Europe-wide campaign on climate protection is planned for 20.9.19, we would like to collect 500 voluntary commitments by 19 September. Sign today and forward the link to this website to all colleagues in your area!

It is now time to translate words into deeds and to set an example for more climate protection at HU Berlin!
This campaign is already supported by more than 545 scientists at HU Berlin.
first signatories were:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Müller (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schneider (Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Geographisches Institut)

Prof. Dr. Peter Frensch (Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Psychologie, Vizepräsident der HU für Forschung)

Prof. Dr. Anke Lüdeling (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Prof. Dr. Heike Wiese (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Katrin Neuhaus (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Manfred Bierwwisch (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Dr. Jan-Hendrik Schleimer (Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Fachinstitut für theoretische Biologie)

Dr. Marc Felfe (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Prof. Dr. Lisa Verhoeven (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Prof. Dr. Ada Sasse (Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftlichen Fakultät, Erziehungswissenschaften)

Dr. Antonio Machicao y Priemer (Sprach-​ und li­te­ra­turwis­sen­schaft­li­che Fa­kul­tät, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik)

Dr. Dennis Rätzel (Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Physik)