Climate change is real and, as usual, its consequences hit the poorest people hardest. Many of the young people with whom and for whom we work are affected. Be it through droughts that affect agriculture or cyclones that destroy livelihoods. This is why terre des hommes switzerland is committed to climate justice.
The Swiss electorate has sent a clear signal with its clear Yes to the Climate Protection Act 2023. Climate protection is an urgent priority in view of the dramatic and real consequences of climate change that are already being felt. As usual, it will hit the poorest the fastest and hardest, while the rich industrialized countries - the main polluters of CO2 emissions - carry on as before.
Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent
Many of our project partners live and work in areas that are highly sensitive to global warming and environmental change. Many of the young people we work for and with have long been affected. In northeastern Brazil, where we help youth build livelihoods in organic agriculture, drought is worse than ever. In the Sahrawi refugee camps in the Algerian desert, where people have been waiting for a solution to the conflict over the occupied Western Sahara for almost 50 years, the temperature rises to 50 degrees in summer. In Mozambique, increasingly violent cyclones regularly lead to humanitarian disasters, with thousands of people losing their homes, livestock, livelihoods and loved ones.
Engagement in the South and measures in Switzerland
We therefore advocate for climate justice and support young people in Switzerland and in our project countries in their commitment. In the South, we support young people in creating a sustainable livelihood through organic farming.
In Switzerland we are Member of the Climate Alliance and demand that Swiss policymakers take swift and comprehensive action. We are committed to the consistent and immediate implementation of the Climate Protection Act in the interest of the life prospects of young people in the global South. Together with the Climate-AG of the Alliance Sud we advocate for additional funding for climate justice measures.
Climate justice now - our demands
- An immediate and more efficient implementation of the Climate Protection Act with a rapid total reduction of domestic greenhouse gas emissions (net zero).
- Appropriate control measures that reduce Swiss emissions generated abroad as quickly as possible to the level required for a 1.5 degree target.
- Adoption of a package of laws on corporate responsibility that allows corporations headquartered in Switzerland to be held liable for climate damage abroad.
- Comprehensive additional funding for climate change adaptation in the Global South.
- Polluter-pays financing mechanisms (taxation of emissions-intensive companies) and incentive taxes (for example, higher taxes on fuel and airline ticket levies).
- Compensation payments for losses and damage caused by the perpetrators of the climate crisis and recognition of the 'historical guilt' for the climate crisis. Here, corporations must be held accountable.
- A fair and sustainable energy transition for all, benefiting in particular the poorest in the Global South, leaving control over land, resources and energy production to local communities and respecting human rights.
- Bank regulation to prevent fossil fuels from obtaining further financing and to make it mandatory for current financing to include appropriate insurance for losses arising from the climate crisis.
- Advocate for demilitarization and peaceful resolution of conflicts, because armed conflicts and militarization result in serious environmental damage.
- A holistic view of the climate crisis as a societal crisis of the purely growth-oriented capitalist system, in which a few enrich themselves at the expense of the habitability of the planet. We expect Switzerland to be proactive and strong in all international bodies for climate protection, biodiversity, a fair decolonized energy transition, to lead by example here and to pursue ambitious negotiation goals.
We have joined forces with over 90 civil society organisations in Switzerland to form the Climate Alliance allied. Together, we call for an ambitious, fair and sustainable climate policy for Switzerland, based on scientific results and committed to implementing the goals of the international climate agreements.
Climate Action Accelerator
As a partner of the Climate Action Accelerator we have committed to halving our CO₂ emissions by 2030.