For many of us who work in Viikki, there is a combined interest in advancing environmental sustainability goals through our research and pedagogic work and as individual or members of communities. But how environmentally smart is the Viikki campus itself, including the practices of those who work and study there? There is a lot of advice out there how choices related to consumption or organizing of work can help to reduce the environmental footprint (e.g. carbon, water or non-renewable materials), but how do these translate to our everyday practices? Where could we do better in this regard?
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Ms. Patricia Espinosa presented this quote in the intersessional meeting, which took place in Bonn, Germany from 17-27 June in 2019. I attended the meeting in Bonn as a non-governmental observer as part of the delegation for University of Helsinki. Ms. Espinosa’s idea summarizes the atmosphere of the conference: we are in a hurry and we need to do more. We have a crisis called climate change that is influencing our own life, yet our response is not fast enough. If there would be a fire in the kitchen, how many of us would wait and watch our house burn? I have to believe that many would step up and take action.