Climate change activists glue themselves to road to Alpine tunnel in Switzerland

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Climate change activists brought holiday traffic to a halt in Switzerland on Friday when they blocked the main route beneath the Alps to demand urgent action against global warming.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.


Protesters from the group Renovate Switzerland glued themselves to the motorway surface around the northern entrance to the Gotthard Tunnel, the group said.

The 17 km (10 mile) tunnel is one of the main routes connecting northern Switzerland to Italy, and is a bottleneck for travelers heading from northern Europe southwards.

Police were called to the scene and eventually removed the seven protesters, who held a banner saying “renovate,” after their action began just after 10 a.m.

“Renovate Switzerland is back on the streets,” the group said via Twitter. “This is an appeal to our fellow citizens.

“Let’s demand together that the Swiss government finally declares a climate emergency.”

The group said it wanted the government to take climate change seriously and renovate the country’s buildings by 2035.

Switzerland is warming at more than twice the global rate and its glaciers are melting fast.

In response, the government wants to invest 4.1 billion Swiss francs ($4.54 billion) on renovating buildings, modernizing the transport infrastructure and other measures to halve greenhouse emissions by 2030 from 1990 levels.

Karuna Babajee, a 19-year-old student, said she was scared to take part in the protest but felt compelled to act.

“I’m doing it because I’m terrified and angry that my generation is being sentenced to death,” she said.

Police from the Swiss canton of Uri were called to the scene removed the protesters after 30 minutes. The group, all aged between 19 and 60 were arrested.

Police told Reuters the road had been cleared traffic had now resumed under the tunnel after the protest, although there were tailbacks of 17 km.

Read more:

Earth had second-warmest March on record: Monitor

Coal use climbs worldwide despite promises to slash emissions

Emissions cuts can slash heat deaths in Middle East, Iran at highest risk: Study

Top Content Trending