In Switzerland, a father on hunger strike leads MPs to listen to the IPCC

Of the 246 parliamentarians in Switzerland, around sixty came to the National Council room in Bern, dominated by the Birthplace of the Confederation, a mural fresco with bucolic accents. It is, however, a first. Under the dome of a national Parliament, experts from the IPCC and IPBES, who work in Geneva on climate change and in Bonn on biodiversity, are invited to present a summary of their work together to elected officials for three hours.

In front of the deputies, eight scientists, three women, five men, went up to the pulpit to share the extent of knowledge on the climate and biodiversity crises between two question-and-answer sessions. Unsurprisingly, it was on the right side of the hemicycle that the ranks were the most sparse, if not downright empty. Among the Greens, there were 29 present out of 35, while the ratio was 7 out of 41 among the Liberal-Radicals and 2 out of 62 for the far-right UDC, the party best represented in the Lower House.

symbolic power

The simple reminder of the facts, which some absent MEPs assured already know, had something chilling. But there was a symbolic power in the meeting itself that was hard to ignore, as if science and politics were finally saying hello to each other. With her group, Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini, elected Green and co-president of the parliamentary climate group, is already working to make ” take root “ at this meeting, that “it serves as a precedent, becomes a reference” to set up regular training cycles and “transform this matter into acts of law”. She thus hopes to win, for example, “a nice majority” in June, as part of “Glacier Initiative”, which intends to put Switzerland back on track with the Paris agreements with a goal of zero emissions by 2050.

For weeks, these three short hours of training have had a great media echo. Among those who had decided to ” to dry “, Liberal-Radical vice-president Philippe Nantermod boasted that he would not go ” at Mass “. Others challenged the method. “If every time someone wants something he goes on a hunger strike on the Federal Square, we can’t get out of it anymore”, defended the centrist Charles Juillard. Because it is partly thanks to the intervention of a man before the Parliament that this initiative could take place.

“This father, not an activist, basically represents quite well a certain segment of the population who finds, quite legitimately, that politics does not go fast enough or far enough. Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini, elected Green

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In Switzerland, a father on hunger strike leads MPs to listen to the IPCC

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