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Good morning, this is Marie-Claire Graf in Zurich and I’m truly hopeful. Why? Because the climate crisis is getting the political attention it desperately needs.

The 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, re-entered the Paris agreement on his very first day in office. This is a promising sign that it’s absolutely clear that we have no more minutes - or even seconds - to waste!

While most of us are not in a high level political position there are various other ways to have transformative impacts. I’m a firm believer that each one of us can make a difference and hence I would like to highlight some of the reasons why I continue to be hopeful.

photo journaliste

Marie-Claire Graf


Today’s reason for hope

Photo article

President Joe Biden signs a number of executive orders on his first day in office. (Keystone/Evan Vucci)

Biden kicks off presidency with strong climate action. No less than a few hours after being sworn into office, US President Joe Biden signed a number of executive orders undoing much of Trump's legacy against environmental protection. By rejoining the Paris agreement and revoking the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, Biden has sent a strong signal that the US might well become a powerful ally for the climate cause once again.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

On my radar

🇺🇸 A note from Bernie Sanders to Biden: No more business as usual. In this moment of unprecedented crises, political leaders - and us as individuals as well - must respond through unprecedented action. No more business as usual. No more of the same old, same old. This is exactly what climate strikers around the world have been demanding system change, not climate change: new hope is arising.

The Guardian (EN)

🏦 Financial institutions are responsible for a lot of emissions. In fact, Swiss-based financial institutions cause more than 22 times more emissions than the whole Swiss population. Hence exiting fossil fuel investments and transitioning towards a sustainable future is key. One institution moving in the right direction is the French Central Bank. Shifting money to a bank that invests in a climate friendly future can have a huge impact.

Reuters (EN)

🚆 Sustainable travel back in the days - a new invention? While at the moment travelling sounds like a utopia, there will be travelling at some point after Covid-19 and we have to make sure that we don’t return to our old habits. This could be an exciting way to rediscover modes of transports my grandparents and parents already enjoyed. I’m dreaming of the Trans-Europe Express (TEE) connecting people across Europe as in the last millenia.

The Guardian (EN)

🇨🇭 Switzerland’s home-grown action plan. While the US administration takes big steps on climate policies, Swiss-based scientists, experts and climate strikers have been working together for over a year on a comprehensive plan that proposes solutions to the climate crisis. The Climate Action Plan shows technically feasible and socially-just ways to achieve net zero by 2030. Now that we have a plan, let’s implement it together.

Climatestrike (FR)

Meanwhile in Geneva Solutions

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Hundreds of youths and students during the climate global strike in Nairobi, Kenya, 20 September 2019. (Keystone/Daniel Iringu)

Climate activists ready to get back on stage. While lockdowns have been critical in tackling the spread of the virus in 2020, they also inevitably slowed down the climate movement. As the first month of 2021 draws to a close, and with lockdowns still in place, two youth activists from Ghana and Brazil on the frontlines of the climate battle share their plans and hopes for this year.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

Turning the lens on wildlife to raise awareness. Brian Matthews, a photographer from Hartlepool, is convinced that pictures of animals in their natural environment will motivate people to care for the planet. He has taken dozens of photos of polar bears, owls, seals and other animals and has posted them on his Instagram account. He is now in talks with the UK government to organise a wildlife photograph competition and exhibition for Cop26 in November, the BBC reported.

Instagram (EN)


Outrage + Optimism. This weekly podcast, which is co-hosted by my personal role model Christiana Figueres, former UN climate change executive secretary and architect of the historic Paris Agreement, turns outrage into optimism and sparks hope. I never miss a single episode and absolutely recommend you to listen in as it’s entertaining, informative and inspiring and helps you to realise that this is both the most challenging, but also the most exciting time in history to be alive.

Global Optimism (EN)

Next on the agenda

25-26 January | Climate Adaptation Summit. Hosted by the Netherlands, this high-level conference will see the launch of new commitments to build a more climate resilient world. After UNEP's sobering report on the gap between adaptation needs and reality, expectations for this event are high.

CAS2021 (EN)

26 January | Our 2021 sustainability resolutions. A virtual event to network with other sustainability professionals and discuss how the Geneva-based community can push things forward.

GreenBuzz Geneva (EN)

27 January | The Plastic Problem. PBS Newshour's documentary travels from Boston, to Costa Rica, and to Easter Island to explore how the world is grappling with plastic pollution. Following the screening, experts from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Center for International Environmental Law will discuss the current plastic crisis.


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Have a good day!

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