Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-g5k2d Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T13:40:40.857Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Academic Conferences by Online Participation: The Case of the 2020 Virtual European Consortium for Political Research General Conference

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2021

Sebastian Jäckle*
Affiliation:
University of Freiburg

Abstract

This article investigates the impact that the decision to switch an academic conference to an online event had on its carbon footprint. Using the example of the biggest European Political Science conference, the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, it comprehensively estimates the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the virtual event and by the hypothetical case, if the event had taken place physically, including emissions from electricity usage, travel, heating, and catering. The carbon footprint of the virtual conference turned out to be between at least 97 and 200 times smaller than it would have been if the meeting had taken place in person. Hybrid conferences, particularly if those participants from far away join the event online, combined with the promotion of land-bound travel for those attending in person—even if this means longer travel times than flying—could be a feasible compromise to reduce emissions by almost 90%.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Allekotte, Michel, Biemann, Kirsten, Heidt, Christoph, Colson, Marie, and Knörr, Wolfram. 2020. “Aktualisierung Der Modelle TREMOD/TREMOD-MM Für Die Emissionsberichterstattung 2020 (Berichtsperiode 1990–2018). ” Heidelberg: Umweltbundesamt. www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/1410/publikationen/2020-06-29_texte_116-2020_tremod_2019_0.pdf.Google Scholar
Aslan, Joshua, Mayers, Kieren, Koomey, Jonathan G., and France, Chris. 2018. “Electricity Intensity of Internet Data Transmission: Untangling the Estimates: Electricity Intensity of Data Transmission.” Journal of Industrial Ecology 22 (4): 785–98. https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Balanzat, Don. 2020. “Green Conference: Reducing Carbon Emissions with a Virtual Conference.” Educators in VR (blog), March 9. https://educatorsinvr.com/2020/03/09/green-conference-reducing-carbon-emissions-with-a-virtual-conference.Google Scholar
Picker, De, Marisa, . 2020. “Rethinking Inclusion and Disability Activism at Academic Conferences: Strategies Proposed by a PhD Student with a Physical Disability.” Disability & Society 35 (1): 163–67. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2019.1619234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Emery, Isaac, and Molidor, Jennifer. 2019. “Catering to the Climate—How Earth-Friendly Menus at Events Can Help Save the Planet.” Oakland, CA: Center for Biological Diversity. www.takeextinctionoffyourplate.com/pdfs/environmental_catering_report_catering_to_the_climate_final_report_2019.pdf.Google Scholar
Eriksson, Elina, Pargman, Daniel, Robèrt, Markus, and Laaksolahti, Jarmo. 2020. “On the Necessity of Flying and of Not Flying: Exploring How Computer Scientists Reason about Academic Travel.” In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability, 1826. Bristol, UK: Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3401335.3401582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
European Environment Agency. 2014. Focusing on Environmental Pressures from Long-Distance Transport: TERM 2014 : Transport Indicators Tracking Progress towards Environmental Targets in Europe. Luxembourg: European Environment Agency Publications Office. https://bookshop.europa.eu/uri?target=EUB:NOTICE:THAL14007:EN:HTML.Google Scholar
European Environment Agency. 2021. “CO2-Emission Intensity from Electricity Generation.” www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/daviz/sds/co2-emission-intensity-from-electricity-generation-2/@@view.Google Scholar
Henderson, Emily F., and Moreau, Marie-Pierre. 2020. “Carefree Conferences? Academics with Caring Responsibilities Performing Mobile Academic Subjectivities.” Gender and Education 32 (1): 7085. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2019.1685654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. 2019. “1.5-Degree Lifestyles—Targets and Options for Reducing Lifestyle Carbon Footprints. Technical Report.” Espoo, Finland: Aalto University, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.Google Scholar
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2018. “Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C above Pre-Industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Efforts to Eradicate Poverty.” Special Report 15. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Google Scholar
Jäckle, Sebastian. 2019. “We Have to Change! The Carbon Footprint of ECPR General Conferences and Ways to Reduce It.” European Political Science 18 (4): 630–50. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-019-00220-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jäckle, Sebastian. 2021. “Replication Data for: Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Academic Conferences by Online Participation: The Case of the 2020 Virtual ECPR General Conference.” Harvard Dataverse. https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/2GTVCL.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Network for Transport Measures. 2018. “Default and Benchmark Transport Data.” www.transportmeasures.org/en/wiki/evaluation-transport-suppliers.Google Scholar
UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. 2021. “Greenhouse Gas Reporting: Conversion Factors 2020.” www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversion-factors-2020.Google Scholar
Umweltbundesamt (German Federal Environmental Agency). 2021. “Bilanz 2019: CO2-Emissionen pro Kilowattstunde Strom Sinken Weiter.” www.umweltbundesamt.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/bilanz-2019-co2-emissionen-pro-kilowattstunde-strom.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: Link

Jäckle Dataset

Link
Supplementary material: PDF

Jäckle supplementary material

Appendix

Download Jäckle supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 136.9 KB