Homage to our glaciers and climate justice with the countries of the South


Trient, Sunday 6 September 2020 

At an homage ceremony held at the foot of the Trient glacier, more than 200 people commemorated the 500 glaciers that have already vanished in Switzerland. As a prelude to a decisive month for Swiss climate policy, the Climate Alliance – supported by development and environmental organisations – drew attention to the seriousness of global warming. The event ended with music and a blessing for the glacier.

The local councillor of Trient (VS), Olivier Couach, has been observing the Trient glacier for many years. During the event organised by the Climate Alliance, Lenten Fund, the Swiss BreakFree Collective, Bread for all and the Glacier Initiative, he stated that the glacier has receded by more than 1,000 metres over the last 30 years. More than 500 small glaciers in Switzerland have already disappeared in recent years. And if nothing is done to stem the rise in temperatures, the imposing Trient glacier itself could disappear by 2100.

But climate change also threatens human civilisation as we know it, in Switzerland and around the world. It is primarily the most vulnerable populations in the countries of the South that are and will be the most severely affected, as César Murangira from Rwanda explained: “The rains are becoming episodic and violent, causing the destruction of homes, roads and crops.” Many farmers in the South are hard hit by climate change and do not have the means to cope. “Climate justice requires that countries in the North not only reduce their emissions but also financially support people in the South to adapt to it,” said Yvan Maillard Ardenti of Bread for all.

A busy September for the climate

At the foot of the Trient glacier, the Climate Alliance, as well as development and environmental protection organisations, have called on the parliamentarians, who will debate the CO2 law starting on 7 September, to implement strong and effective measures to reduce Switzerland’s CO2 emissions. The Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Jacques Dubochet, stated: “We must renounce fossil fuels as soon as possible and get rid of the cancer of unbridled growth”.

This homage to the glaciers also marked the beginning of a month of mobilization for the climate: a national climate strike took place on 4 September. On 20 September, a week of mobilisation will begin, initiated by a coalition of many organisations, including Climate Strike, Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace. On 22 September2, the appeal of the climate activists who played tennis at a Credit Suisse subsidiary in Lausanne will take place.

This Climate Alliance event is organised in collaboration with Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, BreakFree Switzerland, the Glacier Initiative and Bread for all and supported by the Senior Citizens for Climate Protection, Artisans de la transition, ATE Valais, Bolivia Plurinacional CH, HEKS, Extinction Rebellion, Grandparents for Climate, Greenpeace, Climate Strike, Alpine Initiative, œco Church and Environment, Protect Our Winters Switzerland, Pro Vélo Valais, WWF Fribourg and Valais and WWF Youth.

For more information on the event: https://www.alliance-climatique.ch/blog/trient



Contact persons :

Yvan Maillard Ardenti                                                Regula Barben

Climate Justice Officer                                              Project Manager

Bread for all and Climate Alliance                             Climate Alliance

079 267 01 09                                                           078 677 89 56

maillard@bfa-ppp.ch                                                 regula.barben@gmail.com