Open letter to German representatives

University Life can be more sustainable

Sarah Wagner and Christoph Wendel decided on getting active for more sustainability at the chair of astronomy in Würzburg by writing an open letter to local representatives – on the one hand politicians and on the other hand the university president. They picked all members of the Stadtrat, Landtag, and Bundestag that are from the region (Unterfranken) and sent them a letter on sustainability from the perspective of (fellow lower-franconian) astronomers (starting with the pale blue dot, mentioning the climate crisis, and giving a list of action items to save our planet). The letter was signed by many of the people working at the chair of astronomy. They heard back from 6 politicians, expressing affirmation and encouragement. One politician initiated a zoom call to discuss the ideas mentioned in the letter. He brought the letter to plenary discussion in the state parliament (Bayerischer Landtag), for instance to demand funding for universities to reach this goal. The reply was affirmative but did not have concrete actions, i.e., fundings. The open letter to the university president demands a status-quo on co2e-emission from the university and a concrete plan to become climate neutral by 2030. They reached out to the student organisations/representatives (Fachschaften) of all  faculties at the University of Würzburg and not only got their approval but also asked for a statement from their field. In a small press event the letter was handed over over to the vice-president for sustainability.

(July 15, 2022)