Climate CV

Preamble

Many of us are aware of the fact that flying is one of the main contributors to the global climate breakdown. Still, many of us fly. Especially we as scientists have – ostensibly – various reasons to fly: We fly to conferences to present talks or posters, we are invited to present our work as keynote speakers, or we simply meet with fellow scientists to discuss future grant proposals. All in the knowing that this behaviour is highly problematic, resulting in a climate footprint that is beyond any scale of sustainability.

The idea of this climate CV originated from discussions in the research group “Environmental Psychology” located at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. We invite scientists of all disciplines to think about their behaviour, and to create, provide, and discuss their own climate CV. With being transparent in our own ranks, we hope to contribute to a society that questions the necessity of flying.

We also hope to contribute to a shift in mental as well as material infrastructures that make scientific meetings more compatible with strong sustainability concerns and our meta-goal of decreasing emissions.

 

Climate CV Karen Hamann (updated May 2019)

In my scientific work and workshops on environmental psychology, I meet many environmental activists. From my first workshop on, I noticed the effect of being authentically pro-environmental and having authentic contact with participants. This made me realize how much other people inspire me who act according to their values (especially in my close surroundings).

Flying less may be one of the hardest steps to take for an environmentally just world because it partially opposes our global worldview and the urge to explore the world and meet people from all around. However, as it is one of the big points of pro-environmental behaviour, I cannot authentically advocate environmental protection and at the same time disregard it in such a dramatic manner. My last flight was in 2014. Alternative environmentally-friendly concepts of conferences and cooperation across the world will only arise if we have to become creative.

This lists conferences/meetings/talks/scientific stays. Overall, about 11.500km* were travelled, resulting in CO2 emissions of approximately 422kg**. This compares to emissions from driving a mid-sized car for approx. 1.610kg and flying by airplane for approx. 6.013kg (including 2 conferences that I cancelled/ visited via video conference due to long travel times without airplane). The sustainable yearly climate budget for a human being is estimated to be 2.300kg.

I would also like to acknowledge that my decision to travel mostly by train and bus let me focus on conferences and meetings nearby since far-away international conferences are linked to long travel durations and effort.

Year

Destination

Reason

Distance

(there and back)

CO2 emitted

2017

London

BrEPs-Meeting (British Env. Psy.)

800 km

30 kg (by train)

 

2017

Dublin  (immediately afterwards)

STEP Summerschool on Env. Psy.

1.300 km

49 kg (by train and ferry)

2017

A Coruna

ICEP participation (International Conference on Env. Psych.)

0 km

(4.000 km)

0 kg (decided to cancel last-minute due to travel duration)

2017

Hamburg

Sustainable Development Summit Hamburg

1.200 km

46 kg (by train)

2017

Berlin

Workshop D3 Model German Environmental Agency

1.400 km

53 kg (by train)

2017

Berlin

Env. Psy. Workshop held for Klaus-Töpfer-Fellowship

1.400 km

53 kg (by train)

2018

Philadelphia

Talk at Sustainable Consumption Conference

0 km

(12.600 km)

0 kg (via Zoom)

2018

Vilm

Summerschool on Env. Psy.

 

1.800 km

68 kg (by train)

2018

Rome

IAPS Conference (People-Environment Studies)

2.200 km

70 kg (by bus)

2018

Berlin

Keynote on Env. Psy. at Nauener Gespräche

1.400 km

53 kg (by train)

 

*For reasons of brevity, focussed on long distance travels only (>600km for one way). Nevertheless, also distances below 600km are impactful if undertaken frequently.

**Distance and CO2 calculations are based on google maps (Trains) and the German Environmental Agency (https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/376/publikationen/180607_uba_hg_fernbus_bf.pdf).

 

 Personal Commitment to Climate Protection                                                                  

  • No air travel since April 2014, see climate CV, saves about 1.300kg of CO2 equivalents per year

  • Life without car use, saves about 1.600kg of CO2 equivalents per year

  • Vegan diet, saves about 1500kgs of CO2 equivalents per year

  • Shared living on less than 20m2 per person, saves about 900kg tons of CO2 equivalents per year

  • Preference for second hand and/or organic clothes, food and devices

  • Urban gardening

  • Bank account in a sustainable & ethical bank

  • Climate volunteer work with the organization Wandelwerk

  • Membership and donation to network n, Wachstumswende and BUND

For details on calculations see http://ipu-ev.de/postkarte