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The University of Bremen as a key player in societal transformation: towards sustainability, climate neutrality and climate justice.
The consensus in the scientific community is that current measures to protect the climate and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are far from sufficient to preserve our natural livelihoods and create good living conditions worldwide. We have only a few years left to set a fundamental course toward a climate-friendly and sustainable way of life. Through our past and current actions, we also have a special responsibility toward countries in the global South. The scientific community also agrees that most of the Sustainable Development Goals could still be achieved in the coming decades if we act quickly and decisively.
No one has an answer as to how and whether this profound transformation in ways of life and work can be achieved by social consensus and, in the process, prevent further social division. This far-reaching transformation therefore requires not only technical, but also social and cultural innovations. In particular, well-trained and committed people are needed to develop and implement solution paths for the multifaceted challenges across disciplinary boundaries.
For this transformation to sustainability, climate neutrality and climate justice, the University of Bremen must play an impulse-giving role. In doing so, the university should address the challenges arising from the transformation process on several, closely interlinked levels:
- Teaching, professional development, and knowledge transfer.
- Campus operations
The University of Bremen is well positioned to fulfill its role in social responsibility: Long-term developed, interdisciplinary cooperation in research and teaching, effective communication between all levels and close interlocking with actors outside the university form a good starting point for a strategic and structural further development of the university with regard to climate change, sustainability, socio-ecological transformation and climate justice. The innovative strength and very high creative motivation of the staff in many fields form the basis for the transformation of our university to succeed. The following points outline a framework for action:
- The university defines its key role in the societal transformation process as an overarching strategic goal in its mission statement.
- The close involvement of all members and affiliates in the transformation process is perceived as a strategic leadership task.
- The university immediately develops a binding strategy for climate neutrality and measures to achieve this goal.
- The university promotes interdisciplinary teaching and further education courses on the topics of sustainability, climate change and climate justice. Independently, basic knowledge of sustainability, climate change, and climate justice is provided to all students in disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses.
- In the strategic orientation of departments, the aspects of sustainability, climate change and climate justice are given high priority within the framework of the overall university strategy. The same applies to the further planning of resources (personnel, material resources, infrastructure).
- The university supports social actors through knowledge transfer in the development and shaping of solution spaces for the achievement of sustainability goals.
- In the sense of a common good orientation, the university networks with institutions at home and abroad with a view to mutual support and transcultural understanding.
Towards sustainability, climate neutrality and climate justice, we as members and affiliates of the University of Bremen contribute to rethinking the role of our university against the necessary background of societal transformation. Only together can we still avert the avoidable consequences of climate change. Therefore, we will support the university leadership in shaping this path swiftly and with the highest priority.
The summit of the group of the twenty most important industrialized and newly industrializing countries (G20), which has just ended, as well as the World Climate Conference (COP 26), which is still ongoing, once again demonstrate the urgency with which the course for effective climate protection and towards sustainable development must be set. Unfortunately, the interim conclusion from these efforts is that the pledges and declarations of intent made by governments to date are not sufficient to preserve our natural livelihoods in the long term. To achieve the internationally agreed goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and preferably below 1.5°C, major efforts are needed not only in Glasgow but also in Bremen.
At the University of Bremen, various groups, initiatives and individuals have spoken out in recent months to highlight the role and responsibility of the university in this process and have called for appropriate action. It is time to bundle these voices!
As members of the University of Bremen, we want to encourage and support the leadership of our university in taking a clear programmatic and structural course that transforms our university towards more sustainability, climate neutrality and climate justice. You can support this endeavor by signing the Manifesto on Sustainability@UniHB and helping to distribute it more widely.
First signatories: Peter Brackmann, Julia Broderius, Jona Dirks, Juliane Filser, Tamina Fulda, Christian Gerlin, Fiona Häger, Manfred Herrmann, Malte Hesse, Sørge Kelm, Hanna Knahl, Dominik Lange, Anette Masch, Marlin Meier, Malina Menzel, Lydia Murmann, Anneliese Niehoff, Kurosch Rezwan, Holger Ruge, Michael Schulz, Christina Vocke und Florian Walter
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Dear supporters of the Manifesto on Sustainability,
First of all, I would like to thank you very much for signing the petition on behalf of the initiators from all status groups! Within a very short time, we have managed to become a not inconsiderable group of over 1,200 university members united by the same overarching goal.Your and your support has helped sustainability, climate neutrality, and climate justice become issues beyond the university's academic committees.
As I'm sure you've noticed, the World Climate Conference in Glasgow has been over for a few days now, and as you might expect, the results are unconvincing. More precisely, what governments have promised sounds nice, but is far from reality. According to the Climate Action... further