The EGU General Assembly is the largest geoscience conference in Europe, attracting towards 15,000 participants. This large number of attendees implies a substantial environment impact, caused by travel, accommodation, food, and of course conference organisation.
In this Townhall meeting we will give information on measures taken so far by the EGU to reduce the environmental footprint of the General Assembly. We would then like to solicit suggestions for ways forward to further reduce the carbon footprint of the conference. We explicitly devote ample time to a discussion on new green measures.
Measures taken over the last years include:
- The posibility to offset the CO2 emissions from travel upon registration to the General Assembly. In 2018 nearly 17,000 euro was raised which was donated to a Carbon Footprint project that aims to reduce deforestation in Brazil.
- EGU encourages to travel by train to Vienna when possible. In 2018 the Swiss Federal Railways SBB offered a discount to GA attendees and EGU continues negotiations with other railway companies.
- The Austria Center Vienna (ACV) has a number of green measures in place, including energy-saving LEDs, a solar array to heat the water used in the kitchens and toilets, and working with an in-house catering company compliant with green standards.
- EGU no longer offer single-use water bottles at coffee breaks. Instead water fountains throughout the building can be used to fill multiple-use bottles.
- In 2019, the paper programme book will be replaced by online alternatives.
1. Martin Rasmussen (Managing Director Copernicus.org):
Measures taken by the EGU General Assembly organisers
2. Susanne Baumann-Söllner (CEO of the Austria Centre Vienna):
Measures taken by the Austria Centre Vienna
3. Denise Cosulich (Director Annual Meetings & Industry Relations) and Maria Doppler (Green Event Coordinator):
Experiences and tips from the European Society of Radiology congress as green-certified meeting
4. Olaf Eisen (President of the Division on Cryospheric Science):
A discussion of train travel to the General Assembly
Followed by an open discussion and a call for tips on new measures to investigate.