The University's Role in the Climate Crisis

The University’s Role in the Climate Crisis

The University’s Role in the Climate Crisis – Thinking beyond Education and Research

Fossil Free UU and Kritische Studenten Utrecht present: “The University’s Role in the Climate Crisis – Thinking Beyond Education and Research”.

This panel discussion, targeted towards students and faculty members, will discuss the role of the university in the Climate Crisis. As governments, industry and other intitutions falter in taking concrete actions towards climate change mitigation, universities nurture the hopes of the world in addressing climate challenges, building social and political understanding of our impact on the environment, and promoting dialogue and debate on critical issues.

Historically, universities have played an essential role in nourishing and providing a long-term vision. Evidently, pressure by university students and staff in the past have helped taking action on critical political issues as divestment from apartheid in South Africa. Currently, a growing worldwide movement is encouraging institutions, including universities, to withdraw investments in fossil fuels and to reinvest in environmentally-friendly businesses.

Apart from direct investments, which Dutch universities do not have, institutions are indirectly lined to the fossil fuel sector. Remarkably, ABP, the pension fund for all civil servants, including those workin in education like UU’s professors and staff, currently holds about €33 billion of investment in CO2-intensive companies.

The panel will address questions such as:
– Should the university take an unambiguous position with respect to the above-mentioned by endorsing the fossil fuel divestment capaign and ask ABP to divest?
– Is such a stance political, or in contrast with the university’s societal role?
– What is implied by not taking a stance on the matter? Is neutrality or inaction a sign of disinterest or irresponsibility?

There will be plenty of opportunity for input from the audience, so join us in this debate to explore together with UU faculty members the role of our university in transforming our society and transitioning to a sustainable future. The case study of the fossil fuel divestment movement provides an opportunity to discuss these broad questions and the role of universities in society.

This initiative is part of a nationwide campaign, ABP Fossil Free. For more information about this campaign and signing the ABP petition:

Panelists coming up soon
Language: English
Entrance: free, no registartion required

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