Sign the manifesto


Your data will be transmitted securely and encrypted. By entering your data, you accept our privacy policy.

Call on the Federal Council and the Parliament

(Submitted in September 2023)

Climate Justice requires debt cancellation

The negative impacts of the climate crisis are largely suffered by a majority of people who have hardly caused it. Rich industrialised nations like Switzerland have a direct responsibility for the losses and damages in the Global South through their historical over-emissions [1]. By standing up for the unconditional cancellation of all public debt of the countries of the Global South, Switzerland would take a first step towards paying back its own climate debt and becomes a driving agent in a historic act of climate action.

The Global South is experiencing the most severe debt crisis since the beginning of the century [2]. The high levels of public debt in which many of the countries now most affected by the climate crisis have been trapped since the end of the colonial era [3] deprive them of their economic sovereignty, prevent social development and perpetuate global inequalities [4].

Debt not only robs many countries in the Global South of the financial space to initiate a just transition [5], the heavy debt burden also forces them to keep extracting new fossil fuels in order to pay the claimed interest [6].

By signing the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, Switzerland committed itself to do everything in its power to limit global warming to well below 2°C. If the Paris goals are still to be achieved, debt cancellation for highly indebted countries is a necessary and immediate measure that, moreover, does not require raising any capital.

The global ecological crisis and its effects require immediate and brave action. We demand from the Federal Council and the Parliament that Switzerland advocates in the decision-making bodies of the World Bank and the IMF, in bilateral discussions with the G7 countries, China and other creditor nations, as well as through legislative initiatives with tackling private creditors based in Switzerland, for the unconditional cancellation of all external debt of the countries of the Global South that are in need of it in order to initiate a just transition.

For climate justice we fight united with our first signers!

From civil society:

  • Solidar Suisse 


  • Greenpeace Switzerland 

  • International Apartheid Debt and Reparations Campaign 

  • medico international Switzerland 

  • Campax 

  • Medi Cuba Suisse 

  • JUSO 

  • Attac 

  • ClimateSeniorinnen 

  • GSOA 

  • Climatestrike Switzerland 


  • Alternative Liste Zurich 

  • Klimagrosseltern 

From Science:

  • Payal Parekh

Climate scientist and globally renowned expert on climate justice

  • Julia Steinberger

Professor of ecological economics at the University of Lausanne and lead author of report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

From politics:

  • Nicolas Siegrist

President JUSO Switzerland and member of the cantonal parliament of Zurich

  • Richard Wolff

Former member of the city parliament of Zurich

[1] Hickel, J. Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary. The Lancet Planetary Health 4, e399–e404 (2020).
[2] World Bank Open Data. World Bank Open Data
[3] Colonialism and Debt. Debt Justice
[4] Hickel, J. The divide: a brief guide to global inequality and its solutions. (Penguin Books/Windmill Books, 2018).
[5] Inman, P. Poorer countries spend five times more on debt than climate crisis – report. The Guardian (2021).
[6] IMF Surveillance and Climate Change Transition Risks: Reforming IMF policy advice to support a just energy transition. ActionAid USA