Climate activists disrupt Swiss parliament session

Agence France-Presse . Bern | Published: 00:00, Sep 20,2019


Dozens of activists interrupted a debate in the Swiss parliament on Thursday, singing songs and unfurling a banner warning of the urgent need to address climate change.

Around 70 supporters of the Climate Strike Action group hung the banner over the railing of the public gallery balcony declaring ‘It’s the final countdown -- 16 months left’, the ATS news agency reported.

That message made reference to the global pledge under the Paris agreement to try to limit the long-term rise in average temperatures to 1.5 degrees

Celsius, with the campaigners maintaining that for that to happen, emission reductions must begin by the end of 2020 at the latest.

They also sang Europe’s classic 80s rock song ‘The Final Countdown’, as well as Bella Ciao, an anthem of the Italian resistance during World War II.

The demonstrators ignored warnings from House speaker Marina Carobbio Guscetti and security was called in to remove them.

‘We did not file a complaint,’ parliamentary spokeswoman Karin Burkhalter told the RTS broadcaster.

The current parliamentary session is set to feature a debate next week on the country’s carbon law.

The law, in place since 2013, requires Switzerland, by 2020, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 per cent compared to 1990 levels.

The government has however warned  it may miss that target, which is in line with the objectives of the 1992 Kyoto Protocol.

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