Niels Souverijns / PhD student

KU Leuven / Climatology

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As a climate scientist working on Antarctica, I have been following the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its contribution to sea level rise. Research showed exponential increases in global sea level rise contribution from the Antarctic, and due to the slow response time of the ice sheet, this will probably continue to attribute for sea level rise in the next decades. It is therefore necessary to aim for a carbon-free society as soon as possible. Scientists at our department try to contribute to this by making use of public transport in their day-to-day commuting travel to work, but also when attending conferences. Furthermore, conference attendance is limited when possible and in case physical presence is needed, night trains or international trains are used as often as possible. Furthermore, flight distances are minimized and the amount of carbon emitted by flights is compensated by contributing to a climate fund.
As a citizen of a small village in the province of Limburg, I often encounter problems to transport myself in an eco-friendly way, as cars are often the only option to move around (certainly in the evening). An increase in the public transport availability is therefore important. Furthermore, research towards eco-friendly technology is one of the ways to tackle future climate change. Governments should therefore put more effort in subsidizing these efforts and promote eco-friendly alternatives for transportation, plastics, etc.