The Youth Encounter for Sustainability (YES) course 2015 in Switzerland enters the next round: After a week in Interlaken, the participants met as a highlight of the second week ETH Professor Reto Knutti during the Climate Café on Wednesday evening. The co-author of the actual IPCC report took with him a clear message to the participants from 20 different countries. «The human influence on the climate system is clear», he explained. His presentations supported this statement with impressive graphs and figures.
After the speech of Knutti the participants had various questions on their mind. «Why don’t all countries start to reduce their carbon emissions immediately?», Steve Shema from Rwanda wanted to know. And Liu Hongwei from China asked Knutti, if he as an IPCC co-author can speak freely to the media. The question from Hongwei was quickly answered. «Yes, I am always free to speak», the professor explained. The question from Shema was a bit more complicate: «When you don’t have electricity, it’s maybe not your first point, to save the climate», Knutti said about the situation in Third World countries. For Switzerland there is no longer any excuse: «Switzerland has the education, the technology and the money. We must lead.»
YES courses go beyond the approach of purely building knowledge. They are interactive and aim to bring together participants from different cultural backgrounds. Through exchange and mutual inspiration, participants will be able to implement concrete solutions in their environment following the course.