To travel or not to travel? UBC Library asks the question

18 May, 2023

Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we are nearing a critical threshold. Despite current efforts, we are more likely than not to surpass a global temperature increase of 1.5°C in the near-term, that “we are already seeing the repercussions,” and that greater climate action is needed urgently.

As part of the UBC Climate Action Plan 2030, UBC has committed to reducing business air travel emissions to 50% of 2019 levels by 2030. Business air travel undertaken by UBC faculty and staff is a significant source of the university’s carbon emissions, but shifting the cultural norms is not an easy feat.

Dr. Christina Laffin, Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies, is a member of the Department of Asian Studies’ Sustainability Initiative Committee and also meets regularly with an interdepartmental group to discuss climate action at UBC. The group brings together climate action committee members from the Departments of Earth, Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences, Geography, Asian Studies, and UBC Library.

It was through this group, that Laffin learned about UBC Library’s Air Travel Decision Tree, a two-page framework document that guides individuals through the decision-making process for work-related air travel.

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