The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) was created to close knowledge gaps in green growth strategies and practice to help countries implement green growth policy. The Geneva office of the GGKP officially opened its doors on 22 January 2014.
On 17 January 2014 the ministers who convened in Geneva on the occasion of the Ministerial Summit of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) appealed to the nations, scientific organisations and private sector to redouble their efforts to provide open access to a maximum of data resources. They also approved the continued operation of the GEO to 2025 and the retention of its current structure, which is based on voluntary participation.
The Tenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and associated Ministerial Summit will take place in Geneva from 15 to 17 January 2014. Almost 90 states and 70 organisations will convene with the aim of improving the access to information on the global environment. In accordance with the mandate adopted by the Federal Council on 18 December 2013, the Swiss delegation, led by Bruno Oberle, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, will support the development of a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable central system.
On 11 December 2013, the fifth round of negotiations were held between Switzerland and the European Union with a view to linking their respective CO2 emissions systems. The draft agreement was also fine-tuned.
The fourth round of negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union on the linking of their respective CO2 emissions trading systems was held in Zurich on 8 July 2013. Further progress was made at the negotiations. The aim of completing the technical negotiations by the end of the year was corroborated.
According to the latest environment report published on 9 July 2013, the environment in Switzerland is not immune to the major global environmental trends of increasing pollution, the overexploitation of natural resources and climate warming. According to Bruno Oberle, Director of the FOEN, the only way to reduce the pressure on natural resources is to decouple economic growth from environmental pollution.
The Swiss Federal Council aims to conserve natural resources, promote more ecologically sound consumption patterns and strengthen the circular economy. To this end, it is proposing the revision of Switzerland’s Environmental Protection Act. This legislative amendment is an indirect counter-proposal to the Green Economy Popular Initiative. The Federal Council submitted the proposed legislative amendment for consultation on 26 June 2013.
At the United Nations Conference in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in June 2012, the biggest ever held, the participating states decided to put the green economy on the international agenda and to formulate goals for sustainable development. Just one year later, measures are already being implemented in Switzerland for the substantiation of these goals.
Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard has signed two agreements in Beijing which will lead to closer cooperation between Switzerland and China in the fields of transport and forestry. The Head of the Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC also met State Councillor Yang Jiechi and other ministers in the Chinese government.
Following the decisions taken by the states participating in the triple conference on chemicals and hazardous waste in Geneva, which is due to conclude shortly, five additional chemicals will be subject to international regulation. On 10 May 2013, the ministerial representatives, including Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, adopted a declaration highlighting the important contribution made by the management of hazardous substances to sustainable development and the protection of health and the environment.