Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Extinction Rebellion Environmental activists block private jets at Geneva airport


The group aims to use non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.

(Keystone / Martial Trezzini)

The global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion took its civil obedience aims to the Geneva airport where some 100 people blocked the private jet terminal on Saturday.

For two and a half hours, some 30 activists sat in front of the entrance to the private jet terminal, partially blocking its entrance. Others were reportedly singing and holding signs with white clouds or flags with the symbol of the movement.

The group's stated aim is to use nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid ecological collapse.

It gained notoriety in Switzerland in September after it poured green dye into the Limmat river that flows through Zurich to draw attention to the climate crisis. Some 117 climate activists pledging allegiance to the Extinction Rebellion movement are also facing criminal charges for blocking a road and a bridge during protests in Lausanne in September. 

"We want to denounce this completely absurd means of transport since a private jet emits twenty times more CO2 per passenger than a conventional airplane," explained Micaël Metry, one of the movement’s spokespeople.

Dozens of police officers were at the scene, but the demonstration was peaceful. No disruptions of commercial flights were reported and the majority of passengers were able to transit through the airport.

After two hours of protest, the group accepted the suggestion of the cantonal police to evacuate the area. According to news agency Keystone-ATS, the group did not make a formal request before the demonstration and the identities of the demonstrators were taken by police. However, a spokesperson for the cantonal police indicated that no decision has been taken about possible consequences for the action.

This story was updated following the demonstration.

Environment Activists dye River Limmat green in Zurich

Environmental activists poured green dye into the river flowing through Switzerland’s biggest city on Tuesday.

This content was published on September 10, 2019 3:04 PM


Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

WEF 2018

WEF Teaser 2018

Why Switzerland struggles with dirty gold

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters