Occupation continues: “statement of Executive Board disappointing”

The occupation of Atlas by End Fossil Occupy and University Rebellion continues. The action groups are disappointed with the ‘sustainability statement of the TU/e Executive Board', which was posted on the TU/e website earlier today. Tomorrow the action groups will publish an extensive response, but for now they responded briefly to Cursor.

The three demands of End Fossil Occupy and University Rebellion are to declare the climate emergency, to cut ties with the fossil industry and to be transparent about the university's third stream funding. If we look at the statement of the Executive Board, we do not see all topics fully covered, but the themes are discussed. For the sake of readability, we have quoted for each demand from the action groups what the Executive Board says about it and then how University Rebellion responds to it.

Climate emergency

The Executive Board says: “The reports from the IPCC are completely clear on the threat of global warming and climate change, which are taking place at an alarming rate. We are already witnessing the first disastrous consequences. This poses an unprecedented threat to our world and urgently calls for sustainable solutions. That’s why the strive for a sustainable world is the number one societal challenge that underlies our strategy.” The statement does not mention or declare the word 'climate emergency', as the action groups demand.

University Rebellion: “After reading the statement from the Executive Board, we are quite disappointed. They took the opportunity for a promo talk about how well they are already doing and how sustainable they already are. It shows that they don't take us seriously and hardly respond to our demands. We don't see words like climate crisis or climate emergency. But they also completely ignore justice and transparency.”

End ties with the fossil fuel industry

The Executive Board says: “The energy transition is the largest societal challenge ever, and it can only be addressed by joining forces as much as possible. Therefore we cannot afford to exclude strong R&D parties that can help create the sustainable solutions needed, including fossil fuel companies.”

University Rebellion responds with “Here they are not talking about cutting ties, but about the energy transition. The climate crisis goes much further than an energy transition. This statement lacks ethics and justice.”

Transparency about the third funding stream

The Board says about this demand: " In this context (fossil collaborations, ed.), TU/e will provide more detail in its annual reports on the industry income, to increase transparency.” The third stream funding is not specifically mentioned in the statement of the Executive Board. University Rebellion: “They are not even transparent about how they are going to be transparent”, referring to the fact that the statement does not include a measurable promise about transparency of third stream income.

Very painful

“In conclusion, the Board writes ‘In our history, we have always given ample space to manifestations on the TU/e campus, within the limits of safety and respect for goods and persons, and will continue to do so in the future’, notes University Rebellion. “That is extremely frustrating to read given the police intervention in March this year and the summary apology from the Executive Board a week and a half ago. This then puts that regret into nothingness. Very painful for the people involved.”

Tomorrow the action groups will come up with a bigger statement. It is not yet certain whether there will be a follow-up meeting with the Executive Board: “That is an option if they want to change something about their statement, but that initiative lies with them. And we will stay here (in Atlas, ed.),” University Rebellion says.

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