#19: How can the university become climate neutral?
Forest fires, increasingly hot summers and other environmental disasters: It is clear that something has to change if we still want to get climate change under control. The goal of the Paris climate agreement is to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. For our university, that means we have to become climate neutral. But how can we achieve this goal? What needs to change? This year we launched the Senate Climate Commission. 12 members consisting of students, staff and professors who will hopefully answer these questions. Part of this commission are also student Helena Horn and staff member Martin Uxa, both were guests in the new episode "In die Uni reingehört" to talk about the climate commission, their work and what still needs to change.
Helena Horn is studying environmental psychology in her master's program and is involved with the student initiative Students for Climate Justice; she has been part of the Climate Commission from the beginning.
Martin Uxa works as a laboratory assistant at the Chair of Systems Process Engineering. He has been part of the Climate Commission for about three months and, among other things, advocates for more bicycle traffic in a working group.
*the audio file is only available in German
The Podcast to Read
Intro voice: Listening in on the university. The podcast about the working world at the OVGU.
Lisa Baaske: Forest fires, increasingly hot summers and other environmental disasters: It is clear that something has to change if we still want to get climate change under control. The goal of the Paris climate agreement is to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. For our university, that means we have to become climate neutral. But how can we achieve this goal? And above all, what do we need to change? Since this year, the Senate Climate Commission has been in place. 12 members consisting of students, staff and professors will hopefully answer these questions. Part of this commission are also student Helena Horn and staff member Martin Uxa, both are guests today. My name is Lisa Baaske, I work at the university's press office. And today, I'm talking to both of them about the climate commission, their work and what still needs to change until the university is climate neutral. A warm welcome to you both!
To start with, a personal question: Why are the topics of sustainability and climate so important to you?
Helena Horn: Yes, I would say that you've just summed it up quite well: forest fires, the current floods in Pakistan, and I think the answer is always a bit obvious. So it's kind of the global issue that we have to solve right now. For me, it's obvious that this is very important to me and that the global injustices associated with the climate crisis are somehow very important to me.
Martin Uxa: Exactly, you hear it every day in the news, everywhere, what's going on in the world. And it actually sounds trite, but we only have this one world and also we have one life, so to speak, only this one chance. And that's why it's always the current life that affects us now and that's also important for the future, for the next generation. And that's why we have to try to manage all this if possible, when the earth is still able to sustain us. Because when it's over, it's over.
Lisa Baaske: True enough. Yes, that's right. So those are certainly the reasons why you are involved with our climate commission. How did this commission actually come into being?
Helena Horn:Yes, I would like to start with that. I am also part of the Students for Climate Justice here in Magdeburg. That's right, a university initiative that was founded from the Students for Future. And about a year and a half or two years ago, we thought that I had to do something at the university in terms of climate neutrality and greenhouse gas neutrality. And then we started networking and looking at what was happening at other universities and came to the conclusion that a position paper, which had to be passed by the Senate, and a list of demands would be a good way to go. And that's what we did and wrote this position paper, also with the help of various professors who are very committed here at the university, and then collected a lot of supporters who signed it, were then able to present it to the senate and from that was also a demand that a rectorate commission on climate be founded. What then happened was that we were able to write the rules of procedure for the Senate Commission on Climate and then the Senate Commission was founded.
Martin Uxa: I joined much later, so I can't say anything about the actual founding, and I've been a member for a quarter of a year.
Lisa Baaske: But how did you find out about the Climate Commission?
Martin Uxa: By a stupid coincidence, actually, because my bike was stolen here at work, right in front of our building. And actually I became part of this sustainability group, by the refusal of a building application and there it was mentioned that there are possibly already planned measures in the sustainability group and thus with the chairperson, with Silke Rühmland I could introduce myself and so there the snowball in principle came rolling and Silke then asked: hey, aren't you also interested, do you want to join in and we also want to set up a working group specifically for cycling and such? And that's how I came to the sustainability group.
Lisa Baaske: Exciting. So stupid that your bike was stolen. But... as I said at the beginning, something has to change. The climate commission is now supposed to make sure that we become climate neutral. What exactly does climate-neutral mean for the university?
Martin Uxa: There is also a single group that is concerned about the definition of climate neutral or greenhouse gas neutral. I'm not so deeply involved in this myself, but in principle, in general terms, we want to emit as little CO2 as possible into the atmosphere in order to slow down this greenhouse effect or global warming and not to exceed this 1.5 degree limit, which was agreed in the Paris climate agreement and which is communicated on a daily basis, as is always the case in the news.
Lisa Baaske: So in a way, there is this climate commission, but you are still divided into working groups and one working group is dealing with the definition of climate neutrality.
Martin Uxa: exactly.
Helena Horn: And perhaps as a supplement. First of all, the first step was this definition of greenhouse gas neutrality, which we have now agreed on. And it is now also the case that a Senate bill is being prepared, which will then be presented to the Senate, so that the goal is actually set for the university. And in terms of the definition, they were guided by the Federal Climate Protection Act. And as was just correctly said, that it's about avoiding as many greenhouse gas emissions as possible and offsetting the rest somehow.
Lisa Baaske: Okay. And are there already ideas on how the commission wants to achieve this? So what do I have to change at the university for climate neutrality?
Helena Horn: When you look at greenhouse gas neutrality, you always consider different scopes for balancing, and this working group is currently working on this. There are three scopes and the first relates to the direct emissions from the university, i.e. something like heating and consumption or the university's own vehicle fleet, for example. Then there is scope two, which deals with all indirect emissions that are generated by electricity, cooling, and heating, for example. And scope three is everything else, which includes a whole lot of things. This includes things like the mobility of all employees and students to and from work, as well as things like waste. All of this is somehow included. And the first thing we need to do now is to take stock of where we emit how much in the first place, so that we can then determine reduction paths and look step by step at what we need to do to reduce emissions, and this is why it's important to first set this major, scheduled goal of when we want to achieve it, so that we can then determine the exact target.
Martin Uxa: Yes, I have a smaller overview. Because I'm in the working group for bicycle traffic and in the working group for the reuse of, for example, equipment or furniture here at the university. And that's just then, simple things like: I leave the car and go by bike, things like that, or the desk, just because it's two years old now, that it doesn't go in the garbage can because I don't like the color, but you can just use it again. These are just... as two small examples, small things that you can do, simply to reduce the greenhouse gas effect. And yes, there we just have many different working groups. I don't know exactly how many, but I think six or seven. As I said, some of them deal with cycling, as I do now, others with the reuse of furniture or equipment. Then we also have mobility and business travel. Things like that, where you just look, maybe it makes more sense, I just do a little zoom meeting, instead of jetting around the world somewhere, seeing me for an hour, driving back. All things like that.
Lisa Baaske: So in a nutshell, we are already taking stock of the situation in order to be able to derive measures from it.
Helena Horn: Exactly. But it runs a bit in parallel, so that we somehow, ... because otherwise it takes much longer if we first do everything step by step. That's why there are already these working groups, where we already know roughly which measures would make sense, so that everything has its pace.
Lisa Baaske: Yes, that it makes more sense to probably come to work by bike rather than by car is kind of self-explanatory. Okay, of all the things that need to change, what's the biggest challenge?
Martin Uxa: I would say that the biggest challenge is to gain the acceptance and understanding of everyone involved. Not only the employees or students who are now in this sustainability group, for whom it is logical, that is why we are in this group. But also the understanding beyond this group, so that people understand: Yes, okay, well, we all have to pull together, otherwise it won't work, and not just in relation to the university and not just in relation to Magdeburg, and not just in relation to Germany, but worldwide. It's no use, because if we now try to save plastic bags in a relatively small country in this world and so on, that's just a super small effect, it's no use worldwide. And all countries have to follow suit and all people have to follow suit. And I think that's the biggest challenge, which also exists worldwide.
Helena Horn: And within the university, perhaps somehow, I still see a bit of a difficulty, which I also just meant, where we somehow don't even know what exactly we have to do, because we first have to balance it, to somehow find such specific, quick solutions as to how we can do it. But that can't be the answer either: Okay, we haven't balanced it yet. We don't know exactly, we'll postpone it, but because we are simply under pressure for time and can't say: Oh, we'll deal with that in ten years. I see that as a major challenge, too, to keep up the pace.
Lisa Baaske: I see, that makes total sense in any case. The first measures have already been mentioned, such as cycling to work or using a desk that you might not find so great, or someone else can use it. Are there already other ideas and suggestions for achieving the goal of climate neutrality?
Helena Horn: So what we are still working on, for example, is a mobility survey, which has already been mentioned a little bit, that mobility is a big topic, where it is simply a matter of first of all recording how people or university members get to the university and back again and there it is first of all about tracking, but then of course about promoting climate-friendly mobility, that is, what has also just been said, using bicycles, using public transport. Of course, making this more attractive for people. That is definitely a suggestion. And what is also totally important is that there is always this whole aspect of energy and renovation and so on. But I'm not in the working group on that either. (laughs) Exactly. But that's also a big topic.
Martin Uxa: For me as a member of the AG Radverkehr we had already met a few times and discussed things like cycle lanes in Magdeburg, whether that is possible. That is again but just typical German bureaucracy, not so simple-the university doesn't have its own roads in principle in the sense, so the city of Magdeburg has to be involved at least. However, there are already numerous discussions and also plans and also already the city' s own studies, which were carried out, where for example these cycle paths could run and what we can plan internally for the university here with us, because our site is sort of, are just something like more parking spaces or whether one makes the parking spaces for example more attractive with roofing, if one roofs them, whether these are for example green roofs or with photovoltaics, in order to still generate electricity, for example to charge e-bikes. Because e-bikes are also becoming more and more popular, and perhaps people who don't just drive two or three kilometers, but drive a longer distance, but then have an e-bike at their disposal, and this then makes it more attractive again to leave the car at home, you can then offer them or you can then perhaps offer them that you can then also charge the bike. But yes, that is difficult again, because it all costs a lot of money. Of course, that's one point, but regardless of that, it all has to be realized somehow. People have to do it and first of all... we're also in the starting gates and we're looking at what's possible and we're also taking stock: How many bicycle racks do we currently have at all? Where could we install new ones? And things like that.
Lisa Baaske: In the end, however, it's more or less a matter of you perhaps having the data and making suggestions. But who decides in the end that it happens? So the senate, the university management?
Martin Uxa: We develop proposals and say: It would be cool if we did this and that, but we don't do anything ourselves. We then bring it to the Senate. And there it is decided: we do it, we don't do it. And as soon as the decision is made, ideally that something can be implemented, several institutions, such as the construction department or central services, take action. Depending on what has been decided.
Lisa Baaske: That's actually the next question right after that: What support do you get from the university management for the implementation? Is there any?
Martin Uxa: I can clarify, so we have the support from all sides that definitely we can always get help. But it's not the people who come up with the idea, but rather we come to them with the concrete plan and then they say: Okay, if you now need new bicycle racks, we will always support you, that they are erected, that they are modified forever, we have the commitments, only that we have to approach the people with the idea ourselves.
Helena Horn: And maybe something else... Yes, the first support was more or less that the commission was set up. And I believe that because we are still in the starting gate, so to speak, the subsequent cooperation, when it comes to the concrete measures, will simply show how it all develops.
Lisa Baaske: Yes, and in preparation for this podcast I actually also read that we have been using 100% green electricity since this year. What other good examples are there where the university is already well on the way to climate neutrality?
Helena Horn: What I heard the other day, what I found cool and also didn't know about that on five buildings solar panels are to be installed. Exactly, which is somehow a great start and could be expanded directly by me (laughs). I think that is an important step, in any case. And exactly you had already mentioned this database, which is available for re-use.
Martin Uxa: Exactly, the second working group I'm involved in, the sustainable use of furniture or also equipment in the lab. Our idea in this working group was that maybe there is some kind of database or system where I say: Okay, I have this device now, I don't need it anymore but it still works. Is there anybody else who wants to use that so they don't have to buy it twice, for example. And that's when we met, collected a lot of ideas and then also talked to the central purchasing department. And he said, "That's cool, it's already been around for a long time. We have a database, but it's not completely public yet, because they're in the pilot phase and are testing it with a few people. And although it was rather unfavorable for the working group itself, where we found out that we don't really need any more cool, work done, but that the university is also already active there, this database has already existed and is being tested and it was signaled to us that it should expire soon, officially, so that everyone who is responsible for the inventory, for example, can also look at it and see. Okay, here is a free device, and you then exchange and the device is then just relocated.
Lisa Baaske: And yes, that somehow also shows that the university is super big and that you don't always know what's available. So maybe through the podcast people will get in touch with you and say: Man, this and this is another good example.
Helena Horn: Totally, that's what I wanted to say. For this reason alone, it makes sense that there is now a climate commission that brings everything under one roof and that you can then also work in a targeted manner and not just that this is already being done and that is already being done, which is all great, but together it brings more.
Lisa Baaske: A long time ago, I was in contact with a student who also had the idea of laptop lending, so that students can simply come by and borrow old laptops. So maybe these are also stories that you could think about. As a tip from me now here from the press office. (Laughs)
Helena Horn: That's also something cool that somehow creates synergies, in that it somehow opens up the possibility for students who perhaps don't have a laptop to still be able to work with a good laptop.
Lisa Baaske: And that perhaps also such a good example. So much for that: Oh, the climate commission makes total sense, because I got a laptop because of them, for example. So I think it's the good examples. Helena, you had already mentioned other universities at the very beginning. What can we learn from other universities? Are there any that are already much further along than we are.
Helena Horn: Yes, definitely. For example, I believe we also mentioned this in our position paper at the time: Leuphana University in Lüneburg. They have also aligned their entire profile in the direction of sustainability and decided back in 2007, quite a while ago now, that they would like to become climate-neutral and have been since 2014, at least as far as these scopes one and two are concerned, which I explained earlier, and parts of scope three, exactly. And 2014 was eight years ago now, so definitely quite a while earlier. And what you can also observe is that various other universities are at least also on the similar path as we are right now also here the Magdeburg Stendal University of Applied Sciences, for example. That's where you can definitely exchange ideas and network and see how other universities are doing it, and you don't always have to completely reinvent the wheel.
Lisa Baaske: It's always good to be able to look left and right. (laughs)
Martin Uxa: I could also add that the energy manager we have, who is also part of this sustainability group, not only works for us, but also collaborates with the Magdeburg Stendal University of Applied Sciences. And what Helena already meant, we really don't have to constantly reinvent the wheel. A large package or several things are organized centrally and that it also accelerates, simplifies and can create shortcuts and that's not bad.
Lisa Baaske: Yes, and now let's be honest: How realistic is it that climate neutrality will really work? I've also read that 2030 is somehow being discussed as the target. Is that true, or has it already been decided in some way?
Helena Horn: 2030 is what we as Students for Climate Justice have called for in our position paper. And I'm still of the opinion that it's definitely realistic, because I already briefly mentioned this at the beginning, and somehow the question for me is not whether it's realistic or not. But what can we do to make it realistic, because time is running out. But there is a working group in the commission that is currently working on the Senate bill, and I'm not really sure how much I can tell you about what's in it. But that will then be presented to the Senate. Exactly. And then it's also public for everyone. What has to be paid, so to speak.
Martin Uxa: Yes, I would also say it's realistic, it's just like everyone always says, maybe it's five to twelve, but if we really pull ourselves together now, if we manage to implement all these plans and pull together, then I think it's realistic. Maybe not 100%, but to a very, very large extent. And anything we can do is better than nothing. And that's why we have to take action now. And I am confident that we can achieve a large part of this, or if possible the entire part. And otherwise, if we already know that this is a utopian goal, we won't make it, then the question of this group would be somehow, then we wouldn't need this anymore, so to speak, we would have missed the goal and therefore, we approach the matter super optimistically and we will make it.
Lisa Baaske: So if it's not going to be 2030, is there an alternative year, which is sort of still under discussion?
Helena Horn: So I know that this group discussed between 2030 and 2035, because you always have to look at the different frameworks and see: What can be done quickly and what will take a little longer. These were exactly the two figures. But you also have to say that the city of Magdeburg also has this goal. If I'm not completely mistaken, by 2035, no, by 2040...
Lisa Baaske:Yes, I also think I definitely read 2035 as well....
Helena Horn: I believe also! In any case, the Federal Republic of Germany 2045, and I think that the city of Magdeburg has the goal 2035, and the university has to go along with it, so to speak, if you don't want to assume from the outset that the goal will be missed. In other words, that's exactly what we're aiming for.
Lisa Baaske: How exactly can you imagine the work of the commission? So please give us an insight into your working groups. How does that work?
Martin Uxa: So in itself it's super relaxed. In principle, there is the senate at the top and we sit there as a sustainability group and we are divided into small individual working groups and everyone basically has a topic for themselves. What we have already told you. One is just mobility on business trips, things like that, the other working group like me now cycling or reuse, these are just small groups. So, for example, like me as an employee from the laboratory or students are there, but some of them are also doctors or professors and so you have the broad focus from all possible angles and you just concentrate on individual issues and develop ideas. Everyone has a different background, everyone has different preferences or ideas about what they can contribute. And then it is said: Okay, that sounds great or everyone has heard something else or whether it was through a vacation abroad, what you have seen, for example, what other countries can already do much better and simply says: Man, that and the idea would not be, for us? Then more or less always sounds like so yes. Cool or no, we can't do that here anyway, it won't work. And that is then compiled further and further until you have a plan and that then goes into the sustainability group as a whole and that everyone there is also informed and the work is not done twice or three times in other working groups and also one group does not take the work away from the other, so to speak. Of course, that shouldn't happen either, and it then goes to the Senate.
Helena Horn: Exactly, and it is like this that we meet once a month in the Senate Climate Commission, then with all members or representatives and the advisory members. And there are usually also short updates on what is happening in the various working groups, so that we are somehow in the know. And then we also always briefly discuss what's new, what's current at the university, what could be relevant somehow. And as a commission, we also have the task of being able to comment on Senate bills that seem to us to be relevant to the climate. This is then also dealt with in this monthly meeting and then the working groups work around it, so to speak.
Lisa Baaske: I see, so you guys meet once a month across the commission and how often do the working groups meet?
Helena Horn: They can decide that for themselves, so to speak. So, for example, I'm still in the public relations working group, laughs, and we've somehow arranged it so that we always meet once a month after the commission meeting in order to simply see how we can get this out to the public. The group that is now working on the Senate bill has met much more often, so that there is speed behind it, that is somehow relatively flexible. And the nice thing is that not only members can participate in the working groups, but also all interested people who are motivated to work there, so that we somehow increase our man and woman power.
Lisa Baaske: Martin mentioned that this climate commission is such a potpourri of different people, i.e. students, employees, professors. Do you have very different perspectives on climate and sustainability, and how do you reconcile them?
Martin Uxa: So I would say, yes, it's definitely super differentiated and everybody sees it from a different perspective. And what's nice or interesting about it is that professors, for example, look at a lot of things super scientifically and say, well, it behaves like this, or they can explain other correlations super scientifically and, for example, something like a secretary sees it from a completely different angle or says, "Oh, man, I've never noticed it like that before. And then we from the lab can interpret it differently. And that's why it's a super broad spectrum, and I wouldn't say it's necessarily difficult to reconcile everything, but rather it's interesting to scan all possible points of view and then say that's the core and that's what we have to concentrate on, and then basically find a common thread and follow it.
Helena Horn: Yes, I also think in any case that all those who are participating in the climate commission somehow already have the big common goal in mind. And yes, it is really somehow rather enriching that different perspectives are brought in and yes, that's what we had wanted for the composition back then, that it is equal and that, for example, the student perspective is not forgotten, because that is sometimes the case in the commissions and so on, that at least from the student perspective a lot is decided, but you can't always actively participate. But that is possible in the climate commission.
Lisa Baaske: That sounds nice in any case. The commission has been in existence since March of this year. What has happened since then?
Helena Horn: Well, for one thing, we are now fully staffed, which is very nice. And all the working groups have been formed, which have now also all started work. In addition, there is this mobility survey that has been developed, which will now start in October. That means that everyone can participate. Or it would be nice if everyone participates and we collect as much data as possible.
Lisa Baaske: This is an appeal here. (Laughs)
Martin Uxa: (laughs) Exactly! A very explicit call. And now the big step I think is this Senate bill so that greenhouse gas neutrality is also scheduled. That's exactly what all the work has been done on now.
Lisa Baaske: And maybe Martin can say something about the next steps.
Martin Uxa: The next steps, so now I want to call on my working group or working groups, because we want to get together again soon, just what these bike paths and for example also changes on our university campus concern, that we wanted to sit down together. And there were already many very good ideas. And the result of such a meeting is in principle always: There are now ideas, then one says this and that, we find that reasonable or that could be implemented. Then, in the background, research is done again, so to speak: How does that work, where is that available, who perhaps already has something like that, can one orient oneself somewhere else. And in the next meeting, it's like an update: I found out that one thing is super complicated, but that we can do it more easily or that someone can do it. And then you just look and bring everyone back up to speed. And so, in principle, you keep moving forward step by step. And until at some point an idea is really so far advanced that you say: Okay, this is really such a part, we want to implement it and then you just take it further, because we also said, you can of course not flood something like the Senate with 1000 very small ideas and say: You could do this, this, this and this, because that could lead to a rejection or washed over them, that should of course also not happen. That we have said, then rather less, but very concrete actions and then but bundled always fact-based what works, what does not work, how it works. And then also propose this to the Senate.
Lisa Baaske: I actually read on the Senate Climate Commission website that the commission is currently in office on an interim basis until the first election. What does that mean exactly and could it make any difference at all?
Helena Horn: Yes, that is due to the fact that we were previously this Rectorate Climate Commission and there was a bit of a change in personnel because, for example, Silke Rühmland and other members who are now advisory members were still real members in this Rectorate Commission. That means we have restructured because we have also written the rules of procedure for the Senate Commission and have then increased the positions that were empty so that we are now fully staffed. Exactly that means that they are elected on a provisional basis, it should say there, or appointed on a provisional basis, I think. But exactly the rules of procedure are valid and exactly when the next election period comes, it is just, the members are also all elected properly. And that has just somewhat slipped over from the Rectorate Commission because it is still so fresh.
Lisa Baaske: So another question of understanding, I always find the commission so difficult to understand. So there are twelve members and then there are also advisory members, or are advisory members already included in the twelve members?
Helena Horn: There are twelve members with voting rights. And these are the four groups: students, professors, academic staff and academic support staff. And then there are advisory members, which is for example Silke Rühmland, but also the departments for...
Martin Uxa: Construction and technology. And the central services, that's something like the management of the parking facilities, for example, or of the green spaces, things like that.
Helena Horn: Exactly that means that they advise us, which is somehow super important, that they are there and can also tell us how things are going, but then they are not entitled to vote when it comes to taking votes within the commission.
Lisa Baaske: So yes, of course, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to have the experts for the different areas to give you an impression of how things are going, so that you can then decide. Okay, all right. You have already indicated that other interested people can also join the working groups. But who can and may participate in the Climate Commission?
Helena Horn: So, first of all, every person, I would say. In the working groups, it is also the case that we do not have this strict principle of a balanced number of all status groups, but that it is really whoever can somehow contribute expertise and is motivated. Exactly, that's why I would say that actually all persons and it is not fixed now that there can always be exactly six working groups, but if there is some totally good idea what one could still do, we could of course also present this in the Climate Commission and then a new working group could be formed. The only condition is that at least one member must always be in the working group, so that it is not somehow detached, but so that the entire Senate Climate Commission is always up to date.
Martin Uxa: In the working groups, as Helena already mentioned, everyone can organize with, which can always contribute to the topic positively with and not per se, but the more positive input of course, the better, the more ideas come to the table. And otherwise, the number of members of the elected or eligible to vote, it just fixed and currently occupied. But in the individual working groups, as I said, significantly more can participate and it is also always: On the one hand, the technology or the findings, the science, changes. That's why there may be new working groups or some of them may be discontinued, for example, when the work is done, which results in a change in the structure. And also: Just because you are elected now, it doesn't mean that you will do this for the next 20 years and that you are committed. You can still say: Okay, well, I can't do it anymore or I don't want to do it anymore or my professional environment or my family environment changes and that's why there's always a change within. And new members can also be elected to the group and then work with it.
Lisa Baaske: Now, if someone is listening to this podcast and totally falls in love with the idea of joining a working group, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Helena Horn: So we have a website and there is also an e-mail address, exactly where you can simply write. And what I can perhaps also say here as a supplement, it was just mentioned personnel change and in the student representatives there will also be a change, because a member for private reasons can no longer be part of the commission. That means that in the next few weeks there will definitely be another call for... exactly the same as a new, a new student representative search. That is, if so, the person who has fallen in love with the work of the Climate Commission, happens to be a student. There will definitely also be a possibility to somehow learn even more about our work in the Q&A session again and then also become part of it.
Lisa Baaske:Then the podcast came at the right time.
Helena Horn: It was perfect. (laughs)
Lisa Baaske: So, yes, we have actually already arrived at the last official question: What are your tips for everyday life to live more climate-friendly and sustainable? In the end, it's sometimes the little things that make a big difference.
Martin Uxa: Exactly, it's just what you say, in the beginning the little things. Now the heating season is about to start again, everyone notices that something like gas prices are exploding. And then it's a very small thing to simply not open the window and leave the radiator on five, but just think about it for a second. Well, radiator maybe down, open and shut the window again and then it goes on. Instead of leaving the window open all day. But then it gets too cold for me, the heating goes up again, things like that, or just small trips that you might only make around the corner, either on foot or by bike, and don't use the car, things like that. That's where it starts.
Helena Horn: I'm still a total fan of exerting pressure. So it is now Friday Global Climate Strike. I think the podcast will come later, but the next global climate change is coming for sure and that is somehow also totally important that many people are on the street, pressure is generated and you can sign so many great petitions and just somehow get involved and contribute. Because of course, it is important to look at individual behavior, but I believe that if we really approach the matter together and all together show that something should change, then action will be taken more quickly.
Lisa Baaske: Yes, and before our podcast then finds its end today, unfortunately already, there is still our column long speech short sense. I give you the beginnings of sentences and you complete them. So you should participate in the climate commission because
Helena Horn: … because we can make a total difference at the university and it's very important that we have a lot of committed and bright minds involved.
Martin Uxa: And now we have the opportunity to change something and we are a cool group and that's why it's worth joining.
Lisa Baaske: That was a good, passionate speech, (laughs) - a lot of people will be contacting you.
Helena Horn: laughs
Martin Uxa: laughs
Lisa Baaske: This is how I contribute to making the university carbon neutral....
Helena Horn: There I have a question about: I personally or other people?
Lisa Baaske: Whatever you like to say….
Helena Horn: Yes, I personally sit on the climate commission. I think that's quite a good contribution.
Martin Uxa: I would fully agree with that. I drive, so it's the same with me-I often go by bike if possible. And yes, try to make my contribution and let's see.
Lisa Baaske: The last long speech, short sense maybe Martin can start? I would love to implement this idea immediately...
Martin Uxa: Maybe ridding the campus of cars for the most part and inspiring them to ride their bicycles and saying, hey guys, ride your bikes more! The good thing is, where the university participates very well, is this academy Bicycle Challenge, where you can put in many kilometers. Unfortunately, that's only a month. Maybe that would a good incentive if that ran all year. But that's a very good contribution that we created. And yes: people, ride your bike more!
Helena Horn: Or public transport.
Lisa Baaske: Yes, then thank you very much for both of you being there. It was super exciting and I hope a whole lot of people will participate. Also, thanks to you out there for listening. If you have any suggestions, topics, requests, praise or criticism, always send them to And feel free to listen again next month. We'll be back with a new episode of our science podcast. Until then, stay healthy!
Intro voice: Listening in on Uni. The podcast about the world of work, at OVGU.