I had to return to Germany on October 2nd. He is currently in Papua New Guinea where he is scheduled to depart on a cargo ship on October 8 for the long voyage back to Europe.
Climate researcher Gianluca Grimalda says he risks losing his position at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Kiel Institut für Weltwirtschaft), in Germany, for refusing to use the plane as transport when returning from Papua New Guinea.
Grimalda plans to return to Germany after her research trip without flying, in order to reduce her carbon emissions by 90%, and intends to travel on ferries, buses, trains and cargo ships.
However, he said the institute gave him a three-day deadline to return by October 2, which would have forced him to fly, according to a statement from the climate group Scientist Rebellion.
Grimalda told CNN that the Kiel Institute asked him to “wait until a second notice/request to appear in Kiel traveling by plane” after he did not return, and that they would “then issue a dismissal letter” when he did not show up a second time. .
He added in a statement that his salary for September was not paid to him, and his proposal to take unpaid leave was rejected.
The Kiel Institute told CNN that it “does not comment publicly on internal employee issues,” but that “when traveling for work, the Institute supports its employees to travel in an environmentally friendly manner.”
When asked about Grimalda’s claim that her September salary had not been paid, the Kiel Institute said only that it would not comment publicly on “an internal personal matter, in order to protect employees.”
Grimalda, an experimental economist and activist with Scientist Rebellion, has been doing fieldwork in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea for six months, studying the relationship between globalization, climate change and social cohesion.
Grimalda’s travel permit expired on September 10, but his investigation took longer than initially expected due to several security threats — including one time when he was held hostage by a group armed with machetes and had all of his possessions confiscated, the magazine says. Scientist.” Statement of rebellion.
As the climate crisis intensifies, the impact of aviation has come under increasing scrutiny. Commercial aviation is responsible for 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions each year, and demand for flights – and emissions – is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Instead, climate activists like Greta Thunberg have created more environmentally friendly ways to travel, such as boat or train.
“I am ready to face all the legal and economic consequences of this decision,” Grimalda said in a statement. “Ultimately, this is also a mental health issue. My psychological state can only be described as climate anxiety, and flying can exacerbate this condition.”
At the beginning of this year, Grimalda took 35 days to reach Papua New Guinea, coming from Germany, after traveling 15,000 kilometers overland to Singapore before boarding a flight for the second part of the journey.
He currently remains in Papua New Guinea before departing on a cargo ship on October 8th for the long journey back to Germany.
*Laura Baddison contributed to this article
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