Thousands of Swiss students protest against climate inaction

Thousands of students in cities across Switzerland have been staging demonstrations over the lack of action to protect the environment and prevent climate change.

Thousands of Swiss students protest against climate inaction
A demonstration in Zurich /Yova Investing

Initial estimates suggest that as many as 10,000 students took part in the demonstrations across Switzerland, but this number is yet to be confirmed.  

Young people have been protesting in Aarau, Basel, Baden, Zurich, Lausanne, Solothurn, Lucerne and Zug.

More than 8,000 students are said to have taken to the streets in Lausanne alone, according to organisers of the strikes. 

The protests kicked off in Solothurn this morning at around 8am, followed by Zurich at 9:30am. 

Read More: Switzerland faces hotter, drier summers and snow-scarce winters: study

Last year, in December, some 1,000 students in Bern, Zurich, Basel and St Gallen protested after revisions to the Swiss C02 law were rejected.

True to Swiss form, the official rules of engagement were said to include respecting public transport.

You can see a video of the students protesting below. Or, you can follow the protests on Twitter by using the #klimastreik hashtag.



The next set of protests have already been planned for February 2nd. 

The students were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swede who refused to attend school on Fridays until the Swedish government reduced its carbon emissions as required by the Paris Agreement.

They say they are not affiliated to any party or organisation.

“We realised that politicians are not reacting to the climate crisis and are not protecting the future of our generation,” reads the group's “About Us” section on the official website

Thunberg has inspired other young people all over the world to also skip school, with strikes occurring in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland and more.

Thunberg, who will be attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this year, accused world leaders of acting like “irresponsible children” in a speech at the climate summit in Poland (COP24).

She is still protesting, as can be seen from her Tweet this morning. 


Dust from the Sahara Desert covers parts of Switzerland

If you woke up this morning in your Swiss home and the world outside your window is yellow, this is why.

Dust from the Sahara Desert covers parts of Switzerland

It would seem that the world is getting stranger by the minute.

Now a cloud of dust is covering parts of  Switzerland, giving it an unusual yellow glow, with the normally blue sky taking on an orange-brown hue.

If you are concerned that this clash of yellow and blue in the sky has something to do with the war in Ukraine, be reassured: the dust cloud comes from northwest Africa, according to the Federal Meteorological Office.

Reader question: Is Switzerland’s Sahara dust cloud dangerous?

The reason: a depression over Morocco and Algeria, which raises the fine sand of the Sahara desert, which heads towards Switzerland.

‘Blood rain’

Despite the ominous name, “blood rain” is simply what happens when rainwater is combined with the desert dust. It’s a natural phenomenon — though admittedly not that natural for Switzerland.

All this is actually good news as it means the end of winter and beginning of spring and warm weather, according to Klaus Marquardt, a meteorologist at Meteonews.

“Wednesday could be the hottest day of the year so far. The bar of 20 degrees will even be crossed in the Rhine valley and in Basel”.

However, it is necessary to see to what extent the Sahara cloud will influence the evolution of temperatures, Marquardt said.

“Because weather models don’t account for desert dust, it could end up being cooler than originally thought.”  

That’s  because In the presence of a lot of dust, solar radiation can be attenuated.

The other outlook, however, is promising: Thursday too, apart from a few areas of high fog, the weather will remain quite sunny and the temperature will be around 16 degrees.

On Friday it will be slightly cooler, but the weather will probably also be quite sunny. The forecast for Saturday is similar, Marquardt said.

READ MORE: Is spring already springing up in Switzerland?