Annual report 2011 Cipra International
In future, the regions that make up the carbon-neutral Alps will emit only the volume of greenhouse gases that nature can absorb in forests, marshes and other carbon sinks. This is a vision which CIPRA hopes will motivate as many people as possible to pursue the notion of climate change mitigation. Indeed, effective steps can still be taken to prevent a climate catastrophe. Turning the Alps into a showcase region in matters of energy and climate can represent an important contribution.
A globalised world requires global approaches to its problems, and achieving a carbon-neutral status in the Alps is no easy venture. Any contribution the Alps can make towards reducing global greenhouse gases will always be modest. But it will be a crucial one if, in doing so, we can encourage politicians to focus at last on a serious policy of climate change mitigation. For CIPRA, striving to make the Alps carbon-neutral does not mean rejecting a global way of thinking. Rather, it is our attempt to highlight the need for a new environmental and resources policy and to prepare and support it at a regional level – with projects such as Alpstar and climalp, where CIPRA gathers and communicates the best climate change ideas, or with My Clime-mate, in which young people from five Alpine nations campaign on behalf of the Alps as a carbon-neutral region.
2011 was an eventful year for CIPRA. Major projects prepared long in advance unexpectedly failed to materialise. This forced our executive office to tighten its belt and rethink its strategy. At the same time Andreas Götz, our Director of many years, is leaving CIPRA to take up new duties elsewhere. The Presidency, the Presiding Committee and all the staff join me in thanking the outgoing Director for his 15 years of successful dedication to our organisation; we wish him well and all the best for the future. Under its new Director Bruno Stephan Walder, CIPRA looks forward with renewed energy and innovative ideas to facing the new and existing challenges posed by the protection of the Alps and Alpine policy.