Negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) on linking their emissions trading schemes have concluded. Bruno Oberle, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment (until the end of 2015), Dominique Paravicini, Deputy Director of the Directorate for European Affairs (DEA), and Jos Delbeke, Director General of the EU’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, have initialled the agreement. The expansion of the international CO2 market by linking national or regional emissions trading schemes can provide an effective means of combating climate change.
President Simonetta Sommaruga represented Switzerland at the meeting of heads of state and government at the start of the 21st UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris. In her speech, she called for the conclusion of a universal and binding climate protection agreement. Global warming and the related consequences for humankind and the environment are among the most urgent challenges faced by the international community today, said Ms Sommaruga in Paris on Monday. All countries are therefore called upon to make an effective contribution to limiting climate change.
The long-term systematic monitoring of Switzerland’s glaciers is now assured. The responsible actors from scientific institutes and the administration signed agreements governing the glacier monitoring in Bern today. As a result, 105 glaciers will be monitored in the long term. The related data for the fields of climate, water, natural hazards and the environment will be made available to a wide audience on an internet platform. The glaciers have been melting for decades due to climate warming, therefore their monitoring is very important.
National award for geo.admin.ch, the geoportal of the Swiss Confederation. The portal received the “2015 eGovernment special prize” at the ninth national eGovernment Symposium, which was held on 24 November 2015 in Bern.
How can we draw on existing knowledge about the climate as part of the decision-making process? The National Centre for Climate Services NCCS helps government departments, politicians, the business sector and society to recognise the risks and opportunities. This in turn enables the risks to be reduced, opportunities to be exploited and costs to be optimised. The groundwork which is laid by the NCCS and various specialist departments helps to set the relevant players on the right track for a future in the context of climate change.
The focus of European Forest Week Silva 2015 in Engelberg, which ended today, was forest services and how to finance them. The approximately 250 participants passed recommendations on sustainable forest management for the Member States of the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva) and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome).
Around 300 international forest experts will convene for European Forest Week in Engelberg at the beginning of November. Their debates will focus on the economic, ecological and social aspects of forest management. The visiting experts will also participate in excursions to Swiss forests where they will have an opportunity to observe forestry practice.
Switzerland’s federal geoportal geo.admin.ch has been honoured once again in a major international competition. On 11 September 2015, the portal won second place in the eGovernment competition’s Public Choice Award, which was decided by online vote.
The ministers of the 18 donor countries who met in Paris for a two-day meeting are determined to make good on their commitment to mobilise 100 billion dollars per year in climate finance for developing countries.
Climate finance for developing countries will be one of the main topics of the 21st climate conference (COP 21). At the invitation of Switzerland and the United States, ministers from 19 countries that finance international climate change measures are meeting today and tomorrow in Paris in order to clarify finance rules and procedures. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard has noted the key role that private investments will play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.