This so-called climate letter was posted online on Monday. As of Wednesday, 300 academics have signed their support. The 22 scientists who took the initiative – including EUR professors Thea Hilhorst and Jan Rotmans – believe that the universities should take the lead when it comes to mitigating climate change.

For example, institutions should make a stronger commitment to sustainable energy and environmentally friendly solutions for their cafeterias and conference dinners. In addition, the initiators propose no longer investing any university funds in fossil-based industry.


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Fewer flights

According to the letter’s authors, Dutch scientists should also be less eager to hop on a plane to attend international conferences or perform research on a different continent.

“Researchers can’t expect to be taken seriously in a debate about climate change if they don’t adhere to their own solutions. If we want people to listen, we will need to get our own story straight first,” say the researchers behind the initiative. They believe scientific authority plays a very important role in the current debate. They call on their fellow academics to clearly position themselves in the fight against climate change and integrate this role in their education activities.

In Denmark, a similar letter published last November was signed by some 650 scientists.