Climate Sustainability in the Academic System
The sixth assessment report of the IPCC highlights the urgency of the climate crisis. To meet the goals of the Paris agreement, swift and transformative change across all sectors of industry, policy and society are now required, including academia. To this end, a special focus needs to be placed on travel practices and physical versus virtual mobility.
The disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged a re-thinking of working modes and practices leaving no domain untouched, including academia. In this transformation, researchers are investigating the role the academic system can play in mitigating greenhouse emissions and the potential for a new framework to conduct more climate-friendly research. How can we achieve this without compromising excellence and international collaboration? Are there co-benefits of digital exchanges such as an increased international participation?
In the past decades, attending international scientific conferences and on-site international collaboration have been major drivers of research. Now, reducing the carbon footprint through digital exchanges and finding alternatives to emission-intensive transportation could help make academia more sustainable. ALLEA is working with its Member Academies and international experts to examine the options for a new model of climate sustainability for the academic system.