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Freie Universität Berlin

Voluntary self-commitment to forego short-haul flights

Travelling by airplane is the most climate-damaging mode of transport. A flight from Berlin to San Francisco and back emits about 6 tons of CO2 per person - this is more than half of the average CO2-emissions every German citizen causes per year. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the entry of climate noxious gases in high air layers even increases the climate impacts by a factor of 2-5 times.

Universities are particularly called upon to take action. International cooperation is crucial for scientific work and therefore an integral part of the self-conception of research-strong universities. However, the related travel is one of the primary institutional sources of greenhouse gases. We as researchers, lecturers as well as management and administrative staff can contribute to reducing or limiting mobility-related greenhouse gas emissions, by switching to alternative means of transport and using virtual communication.

Motivated by the commitment of the students and scientists engaged in the Fridays for Future movement we follow the initiative of other universities, among them TU Berlin or Humboldt-University. The basic idea is to voluntarily forego short-haul flights up to 1.000 km by signing the self-commitment below.* Short-haul flights are especially easy to replace by the much more climate-friendly alternative of rail travel.

Please sign today and forward the link to this website to all your colleagues!

The Sustainability & Energy Management Unit is currently working on a comprehensive, sustainability-oriented mobility strategy for Freie Universität Berlin. Air travel will be a focus topic in this process. We therefore cordially invite you to use the free text field below to submit your recommendations and suggestions.

First signatories

  • Prof. Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder, Department of Earth Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Inka Bormann, Department of  Education and Psychology
  • Andreas Wanke, Sustainability & Energy Unit
  • PD Dr. Achim Brunnengräber, Department of Political and Social Sciences
  • Sebastian Niedlich, Department of  Education and Psychology
  • Dr. Georg Heiss, Department of Earth Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Jens Rolff, FB Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy
  • Steffen Terberl, Profund Innovation
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Sydow, School of Business & Economics
  • Prof. Dr. Holger Dau, Department of Physics
  • Karoline von Köckritz, Center for Digital Systems
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Lücke, Department of History and Cultural Studies

* This ambitious goal was chosen deliberately. It goes without saying that the travel times can vary greatly depending on the connection offers bridging 1,000 km. As a rule, the call of all universities refers to journeys of up to 12h travel time.

Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

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