»Climate change must be reflected in every decision we make«

Bauhaus guest professor Patricia Espinosa’s visit to the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar began on 9 January 2019 with a panel discussion. In her opening address, the Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change stressed the important role universities play in combatting climate change and encouraged them to seek ambitious solutions and to become a part of the global movement.



»We know that governments cannot combat climate change alone. We need all parts of society to work as hard as possible to further global climate protection measures. Universities play an important role in this, as they prepare young people to make important and groundbreaking decisions in the future. Tools and techniques are also being developed here, though, to help prevent climate change and mitigate its effects. Architecture, engineering, design – these disciplines all have a direct impact on the quality of our lives, our consumption, our traffic and our cities. That’s why we need your commitment,« Espinosa emphasised.

She underlined that climate change is advancing far more rapidly than expected, and called on those present to act without delay. »Remember that there are always people suffering from the effects of climate change – be it droughts, fires or floods.« In turn, these exacerbate social problems such as poverty, violence or the gender gap.  

The fact that the Oberlichtsaal was full down to the very last seat makes clear just how much this topic preoccupies the University and its members. Under the title of »Effective climate action through multilateral diplomacy and participation: creating sustainable political solutions«, the University Directorate invited Patricia Espinosa, Anja Siegesmund (Thuringian Minister for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation), and Prof. Eckhardt Kraft (Professor of Biotechnology in Resources Management) to exchange with them on the subject. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Jürgen Ruth (Constructive Design and Structural Design).

The entire panel discussion as well as the opening addresses by Patricia Espinosa and Anja Siegesmund can be viewed on our YouTube channel:

Report in the MDR Thüringen Journal on Patricia Espinosa’s visit:

On Thursday, 10 January 2019, students then had the opportunity to speak directly with Patricia Espinosa. During a workshop, students from the Bachelor’s programme in Urban Studies presented their projects on the subject of »Stadt und Infrastruktur im (Klima-)Wandel« [»City and infrastructure in (climate) change«]. Espinosa followed the project reports with great interest and encouraged the committed students to continue searching for sustainable solutions for a more resilient world and a just society. This must include questioning past policies and their maxims of efficiency, and being open to altering existing plans where necessary. 

She summed up her visit on her Twitter account @PEspinosaC  »Very much enjoyed discussing architecture and urban design projects in the context of #ClimateAction with students of @bauhaus_uni in Weimar. Our discussions showed that young people really are concerned about #ClimateChange and that they want to actively construct their future.«

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