Climate researcher Gianluca Grimalda is in the Solomon Islands, a small country made up of countless islands in the South Pacific, for his work. Suddenly, his employer, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), wanted him to fly back in a few days. He refused because of emissions – and was fired. This is what was reported by The Guardian.
Grimalda had already planned to return from a six-month research trip two weeks after the invitation – on a cargo ship. He said that for more than ten years he has been trying not to fly if possible. He considers the employer’s requirement that he travel by plane to be unbearable.
The IfW report ignores the fact that the most important ecosystems on Earth are on the verge of collapse, if they have not already collapsed. The flight would have emitted 4.5 tons more carbon dioxide than traveling on a cargo ship. “Doing so in compliance with the absurd request is morally unacceptable and embodies the privilege of global elites.”
He promised people he met while studying climate impacts on the Solomon Islands that he would not travel by plane. The 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide used on the voyage is more than the average islanders emit in one year.
Gianluca Grimalda wants to appeal the expulsion once he returns to Germany. He has already contacted his union about this matter. But his hopes are low, he says: “First impressions are that IfW’s actions are legally justified.”
“Typical entrepreneur. Lifelong beer expert. Hipster-friendly internet buff. Analyst. Social media enthusiast.”