Societal responsibility amidst planetary chaos
o Universities must not employ carbon compensation schemes: these involve land grabbing and are not ecologically responsible
o reduce energy and materials consumption as much as possible move to 100 percent green energy
o Make construction of new buildings and renovations of existing buildings as sustainable as possible OR not build new buildings at all
- renovations and new constructions should be plus energy buildings
o Universities reach carbon neutrality in 2025 (V. Masson-Delmotte et al., 2018)
o Food served by and paid for by the university is plant based as default (animal products are exceptional) <>* all food served by and paid for by the university is plant based
* the symbol "<>" represents that there are two visions that 'oppose' one another. We chose to keep both in, to show the different views in our coalition.
Universities do their part
o Greater efforts to educate students and staff about the climate/planetary crisis and climate justice <> mandatory education on every study program as suggested by Scientist Rebellion [https://t.co/bH5dYlXVBJ]
- this education should be critical of (“green”) capitalism and narratives produced by industry about sustainability, energy transition etc.
- it should also refer to Indigenous knowledge systems, social justice aspects, how technology and energy relate to issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity etc.
- social movements should be contacted and involved in the creation of this content, especially those with an intersectional approach to the planetary crisis
o Declare a climate emergency with a call for social and climate justice
o Reveal all ties with private companies or multinational corporations and other institutions, including the (third stream) funding but also sponsorships, guest lectures, their presence at career events and any other presence on campus or connected to the university.
o Reveal how these partners relate to funding that go through other agencies like NWO.
o Third party collaborations committee needs more student input (autonomous student members from every faculty) and stricter guidelines concerning third-party collaborations, especially considering the climate and ecological crisis.
o Universities organize a community assembly to decide on partnerships with problematic companies and institutions
o Ethics committee (only) works on research proposals and should be able to veto third party collaborations
o Broaden the narratives of the planetary crisis to be seen through lenses that are anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, community & social justice focused.
o End technocratic approach ("tech will save us") in university-wide narratives.
Find ways to gather input from outsiders (to the methodology) - for example, input sessions from other departments on the research methodology for life cycle analysis. Some of these methodologies do not take into account extractivist / (neo)colonial practices in new technologies for the energy transition, for example.
- They need to take into account impact to local and Indigenous communities and their lands and whole ecosystems.
- generally other markers such as biodiversity, soil sealing, etc are important things to account for. There should be a timeline for these markers.
o Universities must cut all ties with Big Oil (Shell, Exxon, Chevvron etc.). This includes everything: their funding, guest lecturers, participants in interview events, facilitated internships, scientific material for studies, their presence at university events such as career events and all other possible collaborations. As these collaborations legitimize Big Oil and their harm, they must all permanently cease.
o No stage is given to planet wreckers: i.e. high executives of Big Oil, massive polluters and human/Indigenous rights abusers - companies like Unilever or Tata Steel. They are not given a stage to spread misleading narratives on any platform at universities.
o Investigating collaborations with companies and institutions should be a priority, especially the most powerful ones and those with a known bad track record. Assessments must include damage to peoples (human rights, Indigenous rights) and planet: for example, massive corporations from the food industry, big tech, weapons and chemical industries.
NO planet wreckers, NO greenwashing
End the legitimization & greenwashing of planet wreckers
Societal responsibility beyond "business as usual"
Student participation on third-party committee
Full transparency in collaborations with institutions and companies
Social justice approach to the planetary crisis
Evaluate more than CO2
Full transparency on collaborations and funding
Planetary crisis = social crisis
“Decarbonize” goes beyond counting and reducing emissions - it is about reducing the focus on this molecule (carbon dioxide, CO2) to go deeper to the root of the problems. Narratives that only address the planetary crisis with “tech fixes” are insufficient and misleading, yet they are given the most space in universities. This tactic connects directly to the narratives of corporations when they talk about the climate and ecological destruction of our world. They try to blame individuals for not doing enough, while they spend millions every year in misleading narratives of “green capitalism”. The capitalist system cannot be green, since it relies on infinite economic growth and profit over people and planet. These same multi-billion corporations are then invited to the universities to participate in interviews, career events, facilitated internships, to give lectures etc. Our universities must stop legitimizing these planet wreckers and their misleading narratives and build on decolonial, intersectional stories and practices that enable us to be aware of the position of universities in the world. Even more, we need narratives and practices that enable us to dismantle oppressive systems like capitalism. There must be no stage for planet wreckers, and universities must serve communities.
Only radical system change is able to address the planetary chaos we are living in, therefore we need to tackle oppression on all levels, including ending (neo)colonial exploitation and dismantling neoliberal capitalism. These processes must take into account the protection of Indigenous rights like their right for self-determination. They protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity while facing constant invasion of their ancestral lands by multinational corporations, which results in the destruction of their lands and natural world, rapes, killings and many other horrors. “Green solutions” are often part of that: mining corporations and solar panels are often present in Indigenous lands without their consent, leading to numerous harms to the local communities. Universities must be accountable for their use of terms like “sustainable” for their production of knowledge and commodities. We must fight greenwashing and the abuse of human rights and Indigenous rights in science and technologies.
Science is NOT neutral, it is positioned
Which interests does science serve?
o Take positionality into account in ALL fields, not only humanities, social sciences and similar
o Move away from narratives fabricated by industry, especially those of mega corporations, weapons industries, military, police and colonial institutions
o Investigate the interests of each industry and institution of collaboration, and create dialogue around these. For example: if we are collaborating with the food industry to supposedly end hunger, how close is that claim to the interests of the food industry?
o Hold discussions in every faculty related to the implications of the knowledge and products that are being developed in each department, with accessible ways to provide criticism
o Abandon the notion of neutrality: academia serves specific interests, it always has. Find out what those are and challenge them.