UT rejects fake email about climate emergency

| Jelle Posthuma

A large group of employees and students received an email Wednesday morning in which the UT immediately declares a 'climate emergency'. The Executive Board warns that the message is fake. It is not yet clear from whom the email originated.

The e-mail looks just like an official communication message from the UT, signed by the Executive Board. The fake e-mail states that the university is declaring an immediate 'climate emergency'. 'Every new plan, contract, research proposal or partnership has to be justified in a sustainable framework,' is stated by the authors of the e-mail.

Also, the UT should be climate neutral by 2030. In order to achieve these goals, a 'Climate Assembly' will be held for employees and students. 'All lectures are canceled on these days, and attendance is mandatory.' The authors admit at the end of the message that it is a fake email. 'Sadly, this letter is not from the UT Executive Board. It was put together to show what is possible, and to activate students and staff with regards to the climate crisis.'


The real Executive Board sent a warning email to all employees and students as a response. 'As the Executive Board, we endorse the importance of taking sustainability measures, but we strongly disapprove of this way of distributing information to employees and students,' the Executive Board stated.

According to spokesman Laurens van der Velde, "several thousand" employees and students received the fake email. It is not yet clear from whom the email originated. According to the spokesperson, there are no indications of a hack. The mail also does not contain any cyber risks. The UT is investigating how the sender 'managed to collect such a large number of staff and student email addresses unauthorised'.


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