2021:Submissions/Towards a more environmentally sustainable Wikimedia Movement

From Wikimania

Speakers[edit | edit source]

Abstract[edit | edit source]

presentation slides

The urgency of the climate crisis is reflected in the Movement Strategy recommendations, which call on the entire Wikimedia Movement to “align our practices to support the environmental sustainability of our planet”.

A group of Wikimedia afiliates have recently begun implementing this recommendation, commiting themselves to reducing their carbon footprint through a variety of measures, especially around travel, in the Wikimedia Affiliates Environmental Sustainability Covenant.

This session will explore this new initiative, especially how it takes into account the principle of climate justice, meaning that the more privileged must help carry the burden otherwise disproportionately borne by those less privileged and those living in regions prone to the harshest effects of climate change.

Session Outcomes[edit | edit source]

  • How can Wikimedia affiliates coordinate around environmental sustainability?
  • What are the major factors contributing to our carbon footprint?
  • How can we balance sustainability and our other movement goals?

I'm planning to attend this session live![edit | edit source]

  1. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 13:14, 10 August 2021 (UTC)
  2. Julia Gebert (WMDE) 09:09, 11 August 2021 (CEST)
  3. Ainali (talk) 09:29, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
  4. Nosebagbear (talk) 21:56, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
  5. --Gereon K. (talk) 17:08, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
  6. --Dick Bos (talk) 07:59, 13 August 2021 (UTC)
  7. OwenBlacker (talk) 08:52, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
  8. Christoph Jackel (WMDE) (talk) 10:48, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
  9. CmdrDan (talk) 08:35, 16 August 2021 (UTC)

Questions and Answers[edit | edit source]

Etherpad questions and answers[edit | edit source]

1) So the Wikimedia servers are not carbon neutral? Why hasn't this happened yet?
A: VERY GOOD QUESTION! It is not as easy to change as it seems, but the main reason is that it has not been prioritised by WMF management.

2) Lukas-Bodhi - carbon-neutral is a bit too late - damaging one forest and planting a few trees elsewhere has been unfortunately been made as being equalent...
A: You're right. That is the reason exactly the covenant says that "when engaging in carbon offset programmes, .... not using offsets as an ‘excuse’ for their carbon emissions,"

3) Do you know how many of the affiliates that has joined who's taken decisions like only serve vegetarian food on events?
A: We have started to collect this data and will publish it soon. One example is Wikimedia Deutschland.

4) Are there any concrete ideas how to put this into practice what you propose in the covenant? Practically if you don't have much of a footprint as an org, you can invest directly in content activities for climate and sustainability topics.
A: We will publish a list of examples soon.

5) What are the risks for the Wikipedia projects in regards with enregy costs (green or not) in the near future? As a substancial part of the funding might have to be injected into the infrastructure.
A: Personally, I think that sustainable energy will be quite cheap in the medium-term.

6) Is it correct to say that the Wikimedia servers are not running off renewable sources? If not why hasn't this happened?
A: VERY GOOD QUESTION! First, the data is official – the WMF publishes yearly reports on this. It is not as easy to change as it seems, but the main reason is that it has not been prioritised by WMF management.

7) What about sustainable employee benefits? Is there anything being imagined or employees / Wikimedians invited to brainstorm and hand in their ideas?
A: Yes, there are examples for this. We will publish them soon.

8) Would it not be a good opportunity to enable individual Wikimedians to sign themselves up to these principles. I think many people (me included) do not really understand what an Affiliate is.
A: As an individual community member, you can sign here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sustainability_Initiative/List_of_supporters

9) I think it would be good to make grants committee include questions requiring justification of flight charges and reason for not choosing alternatives
A: Yes, true. Movement strategy process should include every player in the movement. Without support from grants team on how to take care of the environment and organize optimal conferences and flying people around simultaneously should be discussed.

10) Carbon offsets are terribly corrupted options - a tree in the amazon forest or a natural habitat is SIMPLY NOT THE SAME as growing a tree of the same species in another isolated plot of land - compensatory afforestation is a bit of a sham really
A: Yes, thats true. That is the reasone exactly the covenant says that "when engaging in carbon offset programmes, .... not using offsets as an ‘excuse’ for their carbon emissions,"

11) I find also recommendations on usage of Internet, ICT, ... important, e.g. saving of temporary local copies or not clicking a link and back more times. What do You think?