TRIENT, SWITZERLAND (REUTERS) - Climate activists gathered at Switzerland's Trient glacier on Sunday (Sept 6) to urge authorities to take action to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and draw attention to the disappearance of ice shelves and glaciers in the Alps and beyond.
More than 200 people gathered at the foot of the Trient glacier, situated along one of Western Europe's tallest mountain ranges, the Mont Blanc massif, to call attention to the impact of climate change on Switzerland's natural landscape.
Their protest came one day before the Swiss parliament begins debating new legislation on reducing CO2 emissions.
"We know that in the last 30 or 40 years, there are more than 500 glaciers that have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing," Myriam Roth, co-president of the Swiss Association for the Protection of the Climate, which launched an initiative in November 2019 aimed at protecting glaciers in Switzerland, told Reuters.
"This kind of mobilisation, which is very public and draws a lot of people from all over, makes the urgency visible. It reminds people that this is happening now."
Sitting at an altitude of 3,000-3,2000 metres, the Trient glacier has already receded by more than 1,000 metres over the past 30 years.
Switzerland's Turtmann Glacier in the same canton as Trient, split in two last month, losing 300,000 cubic metres in a dramatic collapse caught on camera.
The government says 90 per cent of the 1,500 glaciers remaining - including Trient - will go by the end of the century if nothing is done to cut emissions.
"What we are asking, in the name of the Climate Alliance, is that strong political decisions be taken so that CO2 emissions can be lowered 60 per cent by 2030," said Ivan Maillard Ardenti, whose aid group Bread for All supported the event organised by Switzerland's Climate Alliance.