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Travel and climate change

Global warming is life-threatening for a billion people in developing countries. Long-term extrapolations and order-of-magnitude estimates suggest that the current emissions of a billion people in richer countries will eventually cause the premature deaths of a billion future people in poorer countries. Further information: Nolt, J. (2011). How harmful are the average American's greenhouse gas emissions? Ethics, Policy and Environment, 14(1), 3-10.

Academic research contributes to global warming in several ways, of which flying may be the most important. The contribution of one economy-class seat on a long-haul intercontinental return flight is comparable with driving a car to and from work for a whole year. Aviation is responsible for about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, but other greenhouse gases and other factors (e.g. the elevation at which emissions occur and the different half-lives of GHGs in the atmosphere) mean that aviation is contributing about 5% to global warming.

Climate protection is one of several advantages of the new multi-location format. The new format will reduce travel costs for the average participant, so inclusion in the program will depend more on academic quality and less on financial resources. The number of participants will increase, as will their cultural diversity. Passive or active participation will become easier for colleagues with reduced mobility. Opportunities for meeting possible future collaborators with specific backgrounds, skills or motivations will improve. The conference will be more global in character.

ICMPC15/ESCOM10 supports the academic Flying Less initiative.

Participants are asked to travel to the nearest hub and avoid or reduce flying if reasonably possible. Participants who do fly are asked to consider combining the trip with a holiday or to reduce their yearly emissions in other ways. Options of this kind are entirely private and voluntary; they play no role in procedures for abstract review or program construction.

European participants may consider buying an Interrail ticket and including some extra travel days for a holiday after the conference.

- Plan your trip here.

- Remember to book high-speed French trains (TGV) and the channel tunnel (Eurostar) two months in advance (!mid April!), because these trains have limited numbers of Interrail seats.

- Night trains must be booked in every country. There are direct night trains between Graz and Zürich, and between Graz and Rome. Direct night trains to Vienna start from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Krakow, Milan, Stuttgart, Venice, and Warsaw.

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Zentrum für Systematische Musikwissenschaft
Merangasse 70, EGA-8010 Graz


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