Scex Rouge, Switzerland – A group of senior Swiss women and climate activists have laid giant band-aids on the last piece of glacier-ice connecting the swiftly melting Scex Rouge and Tsanfleuron Glaciers, to protest the Swiss government’s inaction on the growing climate emergency and its impacts on human health.
The group includes nine women who are part of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland, an association that is challenging the Swiss government in the European Court of Human Rights, citing the responsibility of states to take care of their people, especially vulnerable groups like the elderly, from the climate crisis and its health impacts.
Rosmarie Wydler-Wälti, co-president of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland said:
“Europe has had another summer of record heat waves – our glaciers are melting, our forests are burning, lakes and rivers are drying up, and people are suffering terrible health effects and dying. The climate crisis is a health crisis, and it’s already impacting vulnerable people like seniors. By taking Switzerland to the European Court of Human Rights we aim that Switzerland will be held responsible for violating our human rights through inadequate climate protection. Our demand for the Swiss government is simple: respect our right to be safe and healthy with strong action against the climate emergency.”
Anne Mahrer, co-president of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland said:
“These melting glaciers are an undeniable sign that global heating is getting worse by the minute. When it comes to health, we know that prevention is better than cure and the same applies to the climate emergency. Switzerland, the country of human rights, must act now to protect its people from this growing climate catastrophe and subsequent health impacts. We need real climate action now, no more band-aid solutions.”
The legal request by Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland and four individual women was first submitted in 2016 to the Swiss government, but was dismissed before all national instances. The complaint was subsequently taken to the European Court of Human Rights that gave the case priority status in March 2021. In April this year, the case was relinquished to the Grand Chamber of the Court. The hearing in front of the Grand Chamber is expected to take place in 2023. 
Global heating is increasing the intensity and frequency of heat waves.  Climate change-driven heat waves have caused and will cause further deaths and illnesses in already vulnerable groups including elderly people, particularly women. 
Extreme summer heat has led to the Alpine Glaciers melting at an unprecedented rate. It is expected that the ice between the Scex Rouge and Tsanfleuron Glaciers will melt completely in the next few weeks, exposing a pass that has been frozen for at least 2000 years. 
The Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland were supported by Greenpeace during this protest action.
Photo and Video
Photo and video collection of the Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland delegations at Scex Rouge and Tsanfleuron Glacier available from the Greenpeace Media Library (free to download for 14 days).
Notes to Editor:
Rosmarie Wydler-Wälti, co-president of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland: [email protected], +41 61 302 96 35 (for interviews in German)
Anne Mahrer, co-president of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland: [email protected], +41 79 249 72 17 (for interviews in French)
Pia Hollenstein, member of the board of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland: [email protected], +41 79 740 04 50 (for interviews in English)
Norma Bargetzi, member of the board of Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland: [email protected], +41 79 352 98 89 (for interviews in Italian)
Georg Klingler, Climate Campaigner Greenpeace Switzerland: [email protected], +41 79 785 07 38
Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)
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