AUATC Meeting Minutes- Wed 12 June 2024

Meeting commenced at 1pm

Present: Susanne Becken (Chair, Griffith), Kim Blackmore (Australian National University), Tim Ryley (Griffith)

Apologies: Robert McLachlan (Massey), Ben Neville (Melbourne University), Carmen Primo Perez (Uni Tasmania), Brendan Moyle (Massey), Bronwyn Hayward (Canterbury), Sylvia Nissen (Lincoln)

  • Brief update on the meeting with NZ funding – bottom line is that very little progress had been made. Lots of restructuring in the NZ science system. AUATC made a submission to the University Advisory Group to remind them of the importance to consider academic air travel emissions
  • General budget situation is impeding progress on sustainability more generally, but air travel emissions as a ‘very hard’ basket item in particular. Support at both Griffith and ANU is very limited and emissions are not top priority. ANU have adjusted some of their targets (e.g. stretched the 2030 target to 2040). Griffith finalising a Climate Action Plan, but air travel emissions not majorly addressed
  • ANU had a project with students who developed an app to optimise emissions through finding the best meeting location for participants from different origins.
  • Encouraging people to do more online interventions (e.g. conference presentation) is one way to sending a message (not always well received by the University). Kim may look into different conference formats. Tim noted that there was a point in time after Covid where people highlighted the social benefits of less travel (e.g. for those in a carer position)
  • Overall, the political environment is such that the foot is somewhat off the gas (see European elections and changes in NZ). This makes it difficult to advance a challenging proposition such as reducing air travel.
  • As a group we also face challenges as people are busy and it is difficult to advance the shared goals. We decided to reduce the meeting time to 30 minutes but, for now, stick to a two-monthly schedule so to keep the conversation going. Any updates/ good news stories that help progress matters will be happily received.

Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 14 June 2024, 1-1.30 pm (NZST)

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