Raising awareness for climate change through climbing and daily decisions
NAME OF ORGANISATION
Roeland van Oss
Started by the IFMGA mountain guide, Roeland van Oss, Climbing4Climate is a project to raise awareness on how climate change affects the mountains and to encourage each and every individual to do their part by joining Roeland’s challenge. In 2022, the Dutch mountain guide climbed all 82 of the Alpine 4000m peaks on own power – biking, walking or climbing – and is keen to keep spreading the message beyond his feat through a book, a documentary and lectures on tackling climate change.
View of MPA Assessor
What a fantastic achievement 42x 4,000m all under Roeland’s own steam! Climbing4Climate has had an impact already amongst the supporters helping and climbing with Roeland. Getting the message out to a wider audience takes time – a project like this does need a strong commitment by an organisation behind who takes on board the vision and has the resources to keep pushing it. While being award of the hard work behind the vision, it remains so important to keep telling the story and inspiring individuals to take care of the climate through small and large commitments.
Project Objectives and Vision
In the summer of 2022, Roeland van Oss climbed all 82 x 4000m peaks of the Alps, on own power. Not to be the best, first or fastest, but to raise awareness for climate change. Roeland could be followed in real time and people could join his challenge by making pledges for the climate: people could eat less meat, wash at 30 degrees, take public transportation more often, take shorter showers, etc. for the duration of the whole project.
It was in this way, that Roeland wanted to inspire other people to do small things, that would all together be something big for the environment. And he wanted to be the example, that if one really sets mind to something it can be done – like climbing all the 4000m peaks of the Alps. Which is just as a massive undertaking as preserving the mountains from climate change.
It took Roeland 78 days, on own power, to finish his project. He used no cars or cable cars. He walked and biked every meter, more than 1300 km on the bike, more than 600 km on foot and more than 100.000 vertical meters up and down on own power.
This started as an individual project of an IFMGA mountain guide, who is himself very much connected with the climate and on a daily basis experienced how climate change affects the mountains. In a wider scope however, he started to inspire people to change small things in their daily life, which would all together have a big impact against climate change.
People could follow Roeland live throughout his challenge, but also see the pledges that other people were making. This created a community fostering behavioural change. More than 150 active participants joined the project with pledges and thus, together, saved more than 16.000 kg CO2, for the period of the challenge.
For the future Roeland hopes to continue this project, in several different ways: talking to a publisher to start wrapping his experience into a book, putting footage together for a short documentary of his Climbing4Climate challenge and keep spreading his message through lectures.
UIAA Mountain Protection Award Nominees