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Press Release No. 59 | 15 December 2020
New Opportunity to Compensate for Co2 Emissions in Research Funding and Funding Projects

Compensation for the environmental impact of business trips by funding recipients, DFG staff, members of statutory bodies and reviewers / Contribution to greater sustainability

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is making a further contribution to greater sustainability within its research work and in the research projects it funds. In future it will be possible for compensation payments to be made in relation to all CO2 emissions arising from business trips undertaken within funding projects and by DFG staff, members of statutory bodies and reviewers. This is based on a decision by the Joint Science Conference of the federal and state governments (GWK – Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz), which resulted from a joint initiative of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany facilitated by the DFG.

"The DFG has long been active on several fronts addressing issues of climate neutrality and resource conservation. It is not just the funding of specific research projects or the ongoing engagement in the DFG’s statutory bodies or senate commissions that underlines the high significance of the matter of sustainability in our funding activities. These CO2 compensations are now an important step in a more responsible approach to travel and its associated environmental impacts”, said DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker.

The DFG is aligning itself to German government practice by implementing CO2 compensation. This involves using a ready reckoner recommended by the Federal Environment Agency to determine the emissions generated as a result of travel by air, road and rail. A CO2 certificate per emitted tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent can then be acquired. These certificates must be produced for projects that have been certified according to UN rules under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or meet equivalent standards.

Recipients of DFG funding can themselves compensate for the CO2 emissions caused by their business trips within a funded research project by acquiring CO2 certificates. Compensation payments for projects already approved can be financed using the existing DFG funds. In the case of newly planned projects, the funds can be proposed as part of travel expenses. The DFG Head Office will process any compensation for business trips by reviewers, members of statutory bodies and staff.

Further Information

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Further information on the subject of sustainability within the DFG’s funding activities is available via: