At the UN Climate Summit in New York, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard today called for the conclusion of a globally binding climate protection agreement. Every country has a duty to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This can be achieved by making greater use of renewable energies and energy efficiency without forfeiting prosperity and quality of life, explained the head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).
Switzerland is increasing its contribution to the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine by CHF 600,000 and by providing up to an additional ten observers. This was announced by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter, in his opening speech at the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague. The situation in Ukraine also took centre stage in the bilateral talks between President Burkhalter, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek. The main theme of the Economic and Environmental Forum is the prevention of natural disasters, which is also one of the priorities of Switzerland's OSCE Chairmanship.
For five years, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Federal Office for the Environment and the Federal Office for Agriculture actively supported work on a new standard to ensure that water usage worldwide can be assessed according to uniform criteria. The new norm is intended to help both identify the impacts of water usage, and implement measures to use water more efficiently. The ISO standard for conducting a water footprint assessment was adopted by the organisation's member states in July, and presented to a broad audience today at World Water Week in Stockholm.
Information about the current natural hazard situation in Switzerland can now be obtained at a glance from an easy-to-read map on the new web portal www.natural-hazards.ch. The federal agencies responsible for natural hazards were commissioned by the Federal Council to develop the joint web portal, which marks a further advance in the improvement of natural hazard warnings in Switzerland.
Switzerland and China are particularly severely affected by the impacts of climate change on water management. For this reason, they are extending their cooperation in this area. Representatives of both countries have signed a corresponding agreement at a high-level meeting in Crans- Montana. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and the Chinese Vice Minister of Water Resources Hu Siyi highlighted the importance of this cooperation.
As a mountainous country, Switzerland has a long tradition of coping with natural hazards such as floods, avalanches and landslides. As part of the Economic and Environmental Forum of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), the government of the Canton of Valais organised two field visits that offered around 120 OSCE representatives insights into Switzerland's integrated risk management and promoted cooperation among states.
The exterior shows images of Swiss Parks, while inside the bus, passengers are surrounded by images of woods and meadows. A Postbus decked out in a Swiss Parks theme has begun its tour of Switzerland. The vehicle, representing the new partnership between the Swiss Parks Network, PostBus, and the Federal Office for the Environment, aims to promote travel by public transport to the 20 park regions. - Press release of Swiss Parks Network, PostBus and Federal Office for the Environment FOEN.
The Federal Council would like Switzerland to continue its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol. Between now and 2020, it would like Switzerland to reduce its emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels. This objective is consistent with the aims of the CO2 Act. At a meeting today, the Federal Council adopted a dispatch to this effect for the attention of the Swiss parliament.
Switzerland has fulfilled the objective set for it in the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2008-2012, particularly through emission reduction measures taken within the country. The purchase of certificates abroad and the CO2 sink effect of the forests were also taken into account. “The target for 2013-2020 is more ambitious and demands the commitment of all of the sectors involved,” noted Bruno Oberle, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, on 10 April 2014 in Bern.