Students of TransformationsUniversität 2.0 are demanding that their rectorate declare a social-ecological state of emergency. In order to emphasise their demands, the auditorium of the university was occupied for seven days.
On their website, the students summarise why it is also necessary for a university to push for social transformation. The socio-ecological collapse is becoming almost inevitable, as scientific reports on biodiversity loss, climate change, biogeochemical cycles (Rockström 2009), land use change (Steffen 2015), input of novel substances (Persson 2022) and green water (Wang-Erlandsson 2022) predict. Universities need to take social responsibility in this emergency, change their direction in e.g. mission statement and research, and appeal relentlessly to the federal government. A detailed statement, as well as an overview of the co-signers, can be found on the website of the climate activists: https://transformationsuni20.noblogs.org/forderungen/.
- Strategies for climate neutrality must not be based on technologies that do not yet exist. The path to climate and social justice is well known, partly because the causes, symptoms and necessary measures have been researched by universities for decades.
- On the political level, citizens’ councils are a useful and proven means to limit the excessive influence of lobbying on politics.
- Several planetary boundaries have already been exceeded, therefore industrialised nations in particular must drastically reduce their resource consumption.
- The growth of the gross domestic product must not continue to be the dogmatic maxim of our economic activity.
- Global redistribution is essential for climate and social justice.
- Universities should carry responsibility for driving necessary political and social changes. Therefore universities should explicitly commit to the socio-ecological transformation.
Today, on 26.6.22, students in Freiburg have met their recorate and started negotiating their demands.
We, as the Department for Environment and Sustainability, are also convinced that a transformation of scientific institutions is necessary.
We believe that only a social transformation can offer solidary and just solutions in the climate crisis.
We see that the current policy of the German government has shown no signs of implementing necessary change.
That is why the Department for Environment and Sustainability of the AStA TUB supports the demands and actions taken of the Freiburg students. We call on our fellow students to take matters into your own hands. Join initiatives of students and of your communities and participate in climate protection actions and strikes!