World: Swiss father ready to die in climate hunger strike

Heating up: World leaders take center stage at climate talks

  Heating up: World leaders take center stage at climate talks GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — It’s time for more than 130 world leaders to feel the heat. Over 130 heads of state will traipse to the podium Monday and Tuesday at crucial international climate talks in Scotland and talk about what their country is going to do about the threat of global warming. From U.S. President Joe Biden to Seychelles President Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan, they are expected to say how their nation will do its utmost, challenge colleagues to do more and generally turn up the rhetoric. © Provided by Associated Press People walk past a wall with a message on climate eduction at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.

By Denis Balibouse

Fernandez sits during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern © Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE Fernandez sits during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern

BERN (Reuters) - A Swiss father of three on his eighth day of a hunger strike said on Monday he is willing to starve to death in a bid to make his government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future.

Fernandez sits during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern © Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE Fernandez sits during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern

Guillermo Fernandez, a 47-year-old former IT programmer, quit his job to go on strike from Nov. 1 -- the day after the start of the Glasgow COP26 climate summit https://www.reuters.com/business/cop.

COP26 report card: How the world's largest emitters are faring on climate goals

  COP26 report card: How the world's largest emitters are faring on climate goals As countries continue make and increase climate pledges are actions being taken to actually meet those goals? World leaders are converging in Glasgow, Scotland, for COP 26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, six years after creating the Paris Agreement that potentially set the stage for major action to mitigate global warming.

Fernandez stands during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern © Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE Fernandez stands during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern

He is demanding that Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, who attended the conference, informs parliament of the "urgent and bleak" situation due to climate change and takes bold measures to address it.

"We are a small country, we are rich and we can invent the solution for the future. We just have to start now," Fernandez told Reuters in the capital of Bern's main square outside parliament.


Video: German 'climbing kids' demand leaders act at COP26 (Reuters)

"I do know that what I am demanding is tough and might require that I do die."

Biden heads into international climate negotiations with a weak hand

  Biden heads into international climate negotiations with a weak hand American politics are undermining the global fight against climate change — again.It’s almost exactly a year since the Trump administration officially, though temporarily, withdrew the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Since Biden’s inauguration, the new administration has had nine months to piece together a plan for the climate negotiations in Glasgow that shows the US is making concrete progress on its domestic pollution.

Temperatures in Switzerland are rising at around twice the global rate, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost, and many climate activists are disappointed with official measures. Climate Action Tracker, a tool developed by a scientific research group https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/switzerland, rated Switzerland as "insufficient".

Fernandez stands during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern © Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE Fernandez stands during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern

A spokesperson for the environment ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fernandez, from the town of Gruyeres in the canton of Fribourg, says he decided on his daughter's 13th birthday in August -- which coincided with the release of a major U.N. climate report warning of climate disruptions for decades https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-ipcc-report-idCAKBN2FA0JL -- to start the strike.

Climate change protesters abandon 2-week hunger strike and swarm Sen. Joe Manchin's Maserati

  Climate change protesters abandon 2-week hunger strike and swarm Sen. Joe Manchin's Maserati With a banner that said, "Joe Manchin is burning our future for profit," over 100 protesters confronted Sen. Manchin at 6 a.m. ET.With a banner that said, "Joe Manchin is burning our future for profit," over 100 protesters gathered at 6 a.m. ET outside of the Capitol Yacht Club where his houseboat (where he lives while in DC) is docked.

Fernandez said his children were proud of his actions.

Fernandez sits during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern © Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE Fernandez sits during his hunger strike in the Federal Square in a bid to make Swiss government take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children's future in Bern

"They understand that saving their future now requires a struggle. And in struggles for justice, you might die and they know it," he said, close to tears.

(Reporting by Denis Balibouse; Writing and additional reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Can America prevent a global warming cold war? .
There is a glaring geopolitical disparity in climate action between democracies and dictatorships.Yet, the climate crisis doesn't permit the luxury of time. Leading science finds that to limit devastating near-term climate impacts, and reduce risks of runaway warming, China especially must cut its emissions as soon as possible this decade, not just in the long-term. So far, however, despite the new declaration, and climate discussions this week between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has made no such commitment. In fact, Chinese coal use just reached an all-time high.

See also