ZURICH (Reuters) – A Swiss father of three ended a 39-day hunger strike on Thursday aimed at raising awareness of climate change in Swiss parliament, claiming victory after scientists announced they would meet lawmakers next year to discuss the issue.
“Victory! Guillermo Fernandez puts an end to his hunger strike after 39 days. Climate experts and ecologists will educate Swiss parliament,” said a statement on the #PapaOnHungerstrike website.
A friend told Reuters that Fernandez had lost more than 20 kg but was still in good health. Fernandez could not immediately be reached for comment.
The former IT programmer quit his job and began his protest on Nov. 1 in a bid to encourage Switzerland to take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children’s future.
Temperatures in Switzerland are rising at around twice the global rate, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost, and some climate activists are disappointed with official measures.
Climate Action Tracker, a tool developed by a scientific research group, rated Switzerland’s actions “insufficient”.
During the hunger strike, Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga visited Fernandez on Federal Square in Bern where he set up camp.
On Thursday, the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences said in a statement that it would brief Swiss parliamentarians on the latest findings on climate change in a dedicated session on May 2.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Emma Farge; Editing by Mike Collett-White)