Climate Justice Working Group

Proposal Sustainable Mission Funding


We, members of the Union’s Climate Justice Working Group, are concerned that the important aspect of missions’ climate impact has been neglected in the mission funding guidelines. Specifically, we observed that researchers choosing sustainable alternatives to planes often end up covering part of the costs themselves or resorting to airplanes because they cannot afford the additional costs. It is hence social unjust and accelerates environmental crises. 

We demand that the EUI modifies its mission funding regulations to consider the real costs of choosing a sustainable mode of transportation, thereby following other leading universities that already have such arrangements in place.

Specifically, we would like to request that the new mission funding guidelines consider environmental impacts of travelling and economic consequences of choosing sustainable alternatives. We propose (financial) incentives for choosing sustainable means of transportation especially if the destination can be reached in one day by train or bus. Other leading universities in Europe including the University of Amsterdam, Leiden Universiteit, London School of Economics, the University of Vienna, Sciences Po Paris, ETH Zurich, or the University of Oxford have developed solutions to make their employees’ mobility more sustainable. We demand that the EUI implements similar arrangements. 

Specifically, we suggest that the following resolutions are added to the new mission funding guidelines: 

Providing information: Providing information to support researchers and staff in choosing alternative means of transport to destinations reachable within one day. We figured that this applies to 9 out of the top 10 destinations EUI researchers travel to.

Raising awareness: Providing researchers and staff with the opportunity to explain why they’re taking the plane instead of alternative forms of travel when applying for mission funding. In this way, the admin can recognise obstacles to choosing a sustainable form of travel and act accordingly.

Offering support: Full reimbursement of train tickets up to the costs of a global interrail pass including mandatory reservations (258 EUR + ca. 30 EUR). This approach considers that the EUI’s current policy of reimbursing depending on the distance does not reflect the actual costs of the journey and thereby encourages flying.

We hope that you support our attempt to reform the current unjust and unsustainable system. If you would like to support our proposal, you can place your signature here:

In solidarity, 

The Climate Justice Working Group