‘Fridays For Future’ Movement Takes To Swiss Streets

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Above photo: People take part at the ‘Fridays for Future’ demonstration in Lausanne, Switzerland August 9, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Environmental scientists and activists warn about the urgent need to transform the world’s agri-food systems in comprehensive report on climate change.

Thousands of environmental activists from 38 European countries brought their “Fridays for Future” movement to the Swiss city of Lausanne, calling for swift action from politicians and businesses to reduce emissions linked to global warming.

“We are all united coming from different countries and, despite the fact it’s holidays, we are ready to sacrifice our time to have politics change, to raise awareness about what’s happening but also about what is not happening,” 29-year-old French woman, Lise Tourneboeuf, said.

Let’s display “our will to change this system which is not functioning. We want to show there are people of all ages, of all nationalities, and even on holidays the crisis continues. We expect action from politicians.”

The Laussane demonstrations happened a few hours after the release of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a multilateral institution which brings together leading scientists from various disciplines around the world to periodically monitor global ecological transformations.

In its state-of-the-art comprehensive research, the IPCC warned that a profound transformation of agri-food systems is required to keep global warming below 2°C in the coming years, an objective that could affect powerful business interests.

“The land that is already being cultivated could feed the population in a context of climate change and be a source of biomass that provides renewable energy. However, powerful early initiatives that simultaneously affect various fields must be adopted, ”the IPCC president Hoesung Lee explained.

Coordinated initiatives could simultaneously improve the state of soils, food security and nutrition, which will also contribute to combating poverty and hunger.

“The IPCC report highlights that climate change is affecting the four pillars of food security: availability (yield and production), access (prices and capacity to obtain food), utilization (nutrition and food preparation) and stability (changes in availability),” the Friends of the Earth emphasized.

The IPCC report was prepared over the past few years by over 100 scientists, some of whom came from Brazil where governments have been very active in protecting agro-industrial interests.

Since January 2019, when President Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated, this South American country has raised a lot of concern among environmental activists and human rights defenders. The former national military captain enthusiastically supports opening up protected areas in the Amazon — the world’s largest tropical rainforest — to facilitate agriculture and mining.

On July 6, Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE) warned that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon had reached 2,254.8 square kilometers, an area 278 percent larger than the surface affected by the phenomenon during the same month last year.

After the release of these data, the far-right Brazilian president fired the head of the space agency.