Special Session SS30  1-2 July 2021

Astronomy for Planet Earth: forging a sustainable future

News: We are open for contributions (both talks and poster presentations). Please submit your abstract via the conference abstract submission form as soon as possible.

Aims and scope

Astronomy provides society with a unique perspective of both our place in the Universe and the fragility of our planet. In the face of increasing global temperatures and environmental degradation there is a pressing need for astronomers to realise the role that they can play in communicating the uniqueness of planet Earth and ensuring a sustainable future.

At this year's EAS conference, we are building upon the momentum created last year for a sustainable future of (European) astronomy and get ready for concrete climate action: having established the main sources of CO_2 emissions in our field (air travel and electricity for supercomputing and the operation of big telescopes), the next step is to get everyone on board and define a realistic plan that is commensurate with the immense carbon emission reductions that are required in the next ten years.

Our special session on Thursday, 1 July, is structured as follows:

  • Today: reports about detailed carbon budgets, emission reduction strategies of existing facilities and institutes; best practices and lessons learned from online conferences
  • Tomorrow: a plan to decarbonise European astronomy; sustainability built into the designs for future institutes and telescopes
  • Together: climate communication from an astronomical perspective

In addition, we are organising a lunch session on Friday, 2 July that aims to reach the wider astronomical community with a number of high-profile talks.


Invited speakers

  • Clarisse Aujoux (Sorbonne Université, Paris)
  • Lewis Ball (SKAO)
  • Olivier Berné(IRAP, Toulouse)
  • Hannah Dalgleish(University of Oxford)
  • Debra Fisher(Yale University)
  • Sara Lucatello(INAF, Padova)
  • Michael Mann(Penn State)
  • Vanessa Moss(CSIRO)
  • Kimberley Nicholas(Lund University)
  • Matthias Steinmetz(AIP Potsdam)
  • Andy Williams(ESO)

Scientific organisers

Leo Burtscher (co-chair), Hannah Dalgleish (co-chair), Tobias Beuchert, Faustine Cantalloube, Victoria Grinberg, Natasha Hurley-Walker, Mathieu Isidro, Knud Jahnke, Michelle Willebrands


In case of questions, please contact the EAS sustainability working group at sustainability-eas @ unige.ch.

Updated on Thu Feb 25 20:05:46 CET 2021