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Youth demonstrates for Climate- and Alpine Protection

For a liveable future: Young people strike in Bern/CH and across the Alps for more climate protection. (c) Pascal Städeli

Hundreds of thousands of school students across the Alps went on strike at the end of September. They demanded appropriate action be taken for climate protection across the Alps. CIPRA supported the call together with participants from Youth Alpine Interrail.

“There is no planet B; System change not climate change; Climate protection now!” With messages like these, young people across the world protested at the climate strike at the end of September 2019. From Zurich in Switzerland to Turin in Italy, from Nova Gorica in Slovenia to Bregenz in Austria: in the Alps too, students demonstrated for purposeful measures for climate protection. In Bern, the capital of Switzerland, the organizers spoke of 100,000 climate strikers alone. In the Italian city of Turin around 50,000 people demonstrated for more consistent climate protection, while in Austria's cities the turnout totalled 150,000. In other Alpine countries, too, tens of thousands of young people and adults followed the calls for climate-free demos. “Global warming is becoming a matter of survival for the population of the Alps, with temperatures rising twice as fast as the global average. It is therefore self-evident that CIPRA, as an Alpine conservation organization, supports the climate-strikers”, states Kaspar Schuler, co-Executive Director of CIPRA International.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions in its last report published in September.  A large proportion of CO2 is generated by traffic emissions, so rethinking our current behaviour is urgently required. As a solution, young adults presented their experiences from CIPRA International’s “Youth Alpine Interrail” project on 27 September 2019 in Bern. During the summer they travelled by bus and  train through the Alps in a climate-friendly way. They enjoyed an inspiring time in the Alps, but also had some bad experiences in some valleys due to poor public transport and a preference of the car traffic. The young travellers demanded the removal of these obstacles and afterwards joined the Climate Demonstration in Bern.