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Climate Trail opening draws nearly 200 participants


February 19, 2009

Nearly 200 ASU students and staff members turned out on a chilly February morning to participate in the opening of the ThinkSwiss Climate Trail Exhibit on the lawn of Old Main.

The traveling exhibition was created by the Embassy of Switzerland and sponsored at ASU by the Global Institute of Sustainability and ASU Global, the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement. About a quarter of those at the event received prizes for correctly answering a Climate Trail quiz, part of the interactive exhibit.

Swiss Consul General Brigitta Schoch Dettweiler traveled from Los Angeles to co-host the opening activities. She spoke about the latest scientific findings on climate change, highlighted Swiss research efforts and urged her audience to take positive action to help reduce carbon emissions.

"The global dimension of climate change, that respects no borders, is apparent," she said. "Only with broad and strong international commitment will we be able to tackle this complex problem."

She also noted the positive relationship between the United States and Switzerland and advocated extending that relationship to jointly confront "a major challenge of our time, climate change and sustainability." She concluded her remarks by answering a hypothetical question and echoing a popular slogan from the recent presidential campaign: "In response to the question as to whether we can benefit our societies and economies with the necessary measures, my answer would be, 'Yes, we can!'"

The exhibit is part of “Think Swiss – Brainstorm the Future,” a U.S.-based program on Swiss education, research, and innovation guided by Presence Switzerland, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

For more information about the Think Swiss initiative, go to www.thinkswiss.org.

For more on the Global Institute for Sustainability, go to http://sustainability.asu.edu.

For more on ASU Global, go to www.asu.edu/global.