Climate warning
Image of Mats Persson (politician)

Mats Persson (politician)

Climate warning

Ignorance of Swedish Minister of Education (Liberal) whereas Swedish universities open to support climate activists

Swedish universities open to support climate activists In Austria, universities have banded together to support climate activists and put pressure on the government. Follow their example, some Swedish researchers wish. Three universities are open to the possibility. Since 2021, Swedish universities have committed to work to reach the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree goal, through a climate framework. It is a goal that many now believe will not be reached, as the emissions of greenhouse gases continue to increase and the countermeasures are not enough. On April 5, a press release was sent from the united Austrian Academy. The Network of University Deans "urgently appealed to the government to take seriously the warnings of science, but also to take into account the concerns of those who carry out peaceful forms of civil protest, and to act without delay". - The facts are overwhelming. Concrete proposals and solutions are on the table. Now action must follow, says the network's chairman Sabine Seidler in the press release. The call came in response to around 50 scientists supporting the climate activist group "Letzte Generation", the last generation, at one of their roadblocks in January. The initiator was Reinhard Steurer, docent in climate policy at the University of Natural Sciences in Vienna. - While climate activists stuck to the road, we supported them by holding a press conference and physically standing behind them. We did not participate in the blockade, but we stood there and emphasized that their concerns, demands and type of protests are not only legitimate but also necessary, he tells DN. According to Steurer, the researchers' support for the activists was a reaction to a trend where politicians and others began to condemn activists and portray them as criminals. - Many other researchers followed our statement of solidarity across Austria after that, and not only researchers but also teachers, architects, artists, parents, grandparents. We probably expected that. What we did not expect was that all university deans now support us. In August last year, nearly 2,000 Swedish researchers signed a debate article in Aftonbladet with a corresponding call for politicians to act. "We are angry and despairing about recent developments. We see how a majority of our political parties abandon climate policy and instead propose or implement policies that run counter to the Paris Agreement". On Thursday, there was another corresponding call for researchers. Jeannette Eggers, researcher in forest planning at the Swedish University of Agriculture, was one of them. - I think Swedish universities should do the same thing - get together and say: Hello, the government, this is not enough! We must have reasonable measures to reach our climate goals. This is also the opinion of Aitzkoa Lopez de Lapuente Portilla, biomedical researcher at Lund University's cancer center, who is involved in the climate activist group Scientist Rebellion. - With this statement, Austria is showing the way for universities and research institutions worldwide, she says and continues: - Swedish universities should show courage, integrity and leadership in this crisis. DN has asked Swedish universities. They have different preferences as to whether the Austrian example is something to follow. Stockholm University states that they have not yet taken a position. The universities of Örebro, Karlstad and Lund respond that universities as state authorities must be neutral and that it can harm the universities if they support activism. "The university does not see that activism supported by the authorities is a possible path. That serious initiatives and changes are needed globally and throughout society to prevent the effects of climate change is, however, something the university sees and works for," writes Lund University Chancellor Erik Renström. The Karolinska Institute is doubtful. But there are those who can think of joining together, as in Austria. Gothenburg University's press department underlines that it is most common for individual researchers to participate in the debate based on their research areas, but that the university has chosen to follow the Climate Framework, so there is a common approach to some extent. "It is not out of the question to take a position as a university as in the example from Austria". The Royal Institute of Technology's vice chancellor for sustainable development, Per Lundqvist, writes to DN that for KTH it depends on the type of activity it is about and that you stay "within the law". He also writes that the university believes that force needs to be taken. "We are also currently collaborating with several different organizations such as ``We Don't Have Time'' around these issues." Linnaeus University's professor, dean and acting vice chancellor for sustainability, Hans Sternudd, writes that he welcomes all initiatives that lift the climate crisis. "It is difficult to speak for the entire university as it is the chancellor who makes such decisions, but if the decision was mine I would support the initiative". Education Minister Mats Persson (L) writes in an email to DN: "No one would be happier than the climate deniers if the universities lose confidence in their role as independent knowledge brokers. Climate change needs universities that stand for facts – being associated with activists who stick to roads does not protect that role.” Svenska universitet öppnar för att stödja klimataktivister Österrikes universitet går ihop och stöttar klimataktivister som pressar regeringen. Tre svenska universitet öppnar för att det vore möjligt även här.

Do you agree?

41 more agrees trigger social media ads

  • Evangeline Wanjiru

    63 w

    Leaders should strive to impact positive change not the opposite

    • Daniel Waweru

      64 w

      Are these the leaders we should expect direction from?

      • Patrik Lobergh

        64 w

        @daniel_waweru_656 No, the directions will not come from this type of people and need others to step up instead

      • Joseph Githinji

        64 w

        I thought leaders should know better.

        • Elizabeth Gathigia

          64 w

          @joseph_githinji And they should be in forefront fighting for what is right

        • Munene Mugambi

          64 w

          It is always the people in power who are clueless

          • Patrik Lobergh

            64 w

            @munene_mugambi As they are fostered to be politicians & lawyers and have sometimes little or no scientific-, technology- or physicist backgrounds 🙄

          Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
          Post youtube preview with preloading
          youtube overlay

          Write or agree to climate reviews to make businesses and world leaders act. It’s easy and it works.

          Write a climate review

          Voice your opinion on how businesses and organizations impact the climate.
          0 trees planted

          One tree is planted for every climate review written to an organization that is Open for Climate Dialogue™.

          Download the app

          We plant a tree for every new user.