Words of Welcome by The Prince of Wales for the 2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance

The popular call to #flyless to academic conferences is throwing out the baby with the bathwater: It employs a limited understanding of academic conferences, it ignores the operational realities, and there are unintended consequences.

Over the past 13 years, I have been responsible as conference manager or in a similar senior role for about a dozen large international academic conferences and numerous smaller conferences and workshops, mainly related to earth system governance. I also participated in a dozen conferences and workshops by third parties each year.

A general awareness of the environmental impact of conferences already influenced some of my…


The European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency (2019/2930(RSP) is not the much needed transformative legislative action to address the daunting challenge of climate change, which, by the way, might be better off without the label of an emergency. Rather, it is an illustration of still relative weak power of the European Parliament, and a fig leaf to hide behind when real bold decisions need to be avoided or societal (read: social media) pressure needs to be deflected.

I will not dwell on the sense and nonsense of declaring a climate emergency in general…

Ruben Zondervan

mercenary for science and sustainability | science-policy advisor & strategic consultant | ultrarunner

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