Recommendations Emerging from Carbon Emissions Estimations of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
|Becker, Elizabeth A.
|The annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting yields significant, measurable impacts that conflict with the environmental commitment of the Society and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations to address the climate emergency (IPCC, 2018). We used 12,761 presenters’ origins, two online carbon calculators, and benchmark values to estimate 2018 meeting-related travel, event venue operations, and hotel accommodation emissions. Presenters’ conference travel resulted in between 17,298 and 8690 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide (t CO2), with or without radiative forcing index factors. Over 92% of authors traveled by air and were responsible for >99% of total travel-related emissions. Extrapolations based on 28,691 registrants yielded between 69,592.60 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (t CO2e) and 38,010.85 t CO2 from travel. Comparatively, authors’ and registrants’ hotel accommodation emissions equaled 429 and 965 t CO2e, whereas operation of the San Diego Convention Center equaled ∼107 t CO2e. We relate SfN meeting-related emissions to potential September Arctic Sea ice loss, labor productivity loss in lower-income equatorial countries, and future temperature-related deaths. We estimate emissions reductions of between 23% and 78% by incentivizing between 10% and 50% of the most distant registrants to attend virtually or connecting between two and seven in-person hubs virtually. Completely virtual meetings may yield a reduction of >99% relative to centralized in-person meetings and increase participation of women, queer and transgender scientists, and scientists from low- and middle-income countries. We strongly recommend adopting alternative meeting modes such as four or more in-person global hubs connected virtually by 2030 and fully virtual by 2050.
|Open Access Publishing Fund
|eNeuro, Vol. 10, Iss. 10
|Society for Neuroscience
|Attribution CC BY
|Recommendations Emerging from Carbon Emissions Estimations of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
|Architecture and Environmental Design
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|Tyler School of Art and Architecture
|Temple University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund, 2023-2024 (Philadelphia, Pa.)