«Blah blah blah»: three words, an onomatopoeic cartoonish phrase that a couple of weeks ago, nonetheless, has had a disruptive media echo, mainly because it was firmly pronounced during several public speeches by Greta Thunberg, the prospective 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner (but let’s face it: she is still «only» 18 years old). With these three words, the Swedish activist wanted to summarize the feelings of many of her peers engaged in the fight against climate change and in the preservation of the planet: girls and boys from every country who are listening to so many nice concepts on the subject from adults, and solemn promises that then turn out to be, in fact, just empty speeches. A provocation, a calculated disrespect to the powerful of the planet, to those who - at least in the eyes of the youngest - are the main promoters of an inconclusive verbosity, even when, on the table, there is an issue of planetary level. This continuous delay in adopting real measures on climate - Greta’s disciples claim - will inevitably have repercussions on future generations. It is hard to blame them.

Although from the United States - where President Joe Biden is demonstrating a greater «green» sensibility than his predecessor - stimuli are coming in a steady stream to make the fight against CO2 more effective at all levels, the common feeling, not far from a factual truth, is that many nations, primarily China, are actually playing hide and seek, hiding behind the alibi of a lack of a common strategy. To move independently - these countries tacitly claim - would have no perceptible benefits, since the effort would be equivalent to a drop in the ocean.

Swiss citizens probably thought the same way last June 13: the «no» vote on the CO2 Act revision was influenced by the fact, which was widely publicized during the voting campaign, that the Confederation is responsible for about 0.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This defeat certainly made the Swiss road to climate neutrality a little longer, but let’s remember that Switzerland is committed to halve its emissions by 2030 (compared to the level in 1990) and to reach a net zero emissions balance by 2050 through a 90% decrease of emissions generated by transport, buildings and industries. Important goals that our country, which is traditionally attentive to environmental and landscape issues, will do everything possible to achieve.

If at a global level we observe, in short, a moderate effort to find a common executive strategy and to finally give the «go» to a structural energy transition, on the contrary, it must be underlined that at a local level, especially in Europe, there is no lack of good will and clarity of objectives.

In fact, not a day goes by without companies, organizations and sectors, partly out of conviction sometimes out of self-interest, that do not modify their business strategy, and not solely in terms of communication. The green issue now affects all areas of politics and business: it has become a cross-cutting theme that no longer distinguishes between classes and ages. And especially, a theme that receives more operational support from the ground, from private initiatives, than it receives, concretely, from above. We’ll see if the upcoming COP26 summit, held to spur the signatory countries of the Paris Agreements (including Switzerland) to revise and strengthen their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will make it possible to bring the two levels closer together, perhaps shedding some of the «blah blah blah».

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