Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard pleaded for a positive outcome to the negotiations at the climate summit in Doha. In her statement delivered to the plenary session she stressed how essential it is that all states contribute to the resolution of the climate problem. Switzerland would like to see progress being made here and hence supports the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol. Federal Councillor Leuthard, who is Head of the Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, met several leading environmental politicians in Doha, including Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action.
On 30 November 2012 the Federal Council approved the new CO2 Ordinance, which enters into force along with the revised CO2 Act on 1 January 2013. These pieces of legislation establish the legal framework for Switzerland’s climate policy from 2013 to 2020.
The 18th global climate change conference takes place from 26 November to 7 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. In accordance with the mandate handed down to the Swiss delegation by the Federal Council on 21 November 2012, Switzerland will vote in favour of a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol if this measure has the support of other states. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard will represent the Federal Council at the ministerial segment of the conference from 5 to 7 December.
The third round of negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union on the linking of their emissions trading systems took place in Brussels on 26 October 2012. The aim of the future agreement is to create a joint market for carbon emission allowances.
The Board of the Green Climate Fund has recommended that Songdo, South Korea, be chosen as the permanent headquarters of the Fund. Geneva was also among the candidates considered. The Green Climate Fund was created to provide financial support for measures by developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard will travel to India next week to represent Switzerland at the UN Conference on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad. The head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC) will then meet members of the Indian government in Delhi.
Andreas Götz, Vice Director of the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, was honoured with the Chinese government’s Friendship Award in Beijing on 28 September 2012. The award was presented to Götz for his many years of dedication and the cooperation between Switzerland and China in the area of the environment.
First tops, then flops. That is one way of summing up the history of biofuels so far. A new study led by Empa gives an up-to-date picture of the ecobalance of various biofuels and their production processes. Only a few are overall more environmentally friendly than petrol.
Issues concerning the generation, transportation, storage and efficiency of energy in the Alps will coordinated more closely in the future. That was the decision today in Poschiavo, Canton Grisons, of the environment ministers at the Alpine Conference, the decision-making body of the Alpine Convention. The meeting was chaired by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard. The XII Alpine Conference, the high point of the Swiss Presidency of the Alpine Convention, also marked the end of Switzerland's first AlpWeek.
Switzerland is hosting an AlpWeek for the first time. Under the «Renewable Alps» banner, around 350 delegates are meeting in Valposchiavo from 5-8 September to discuss the current and future challenges facing the Alpine region. Opening the event, Director of the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) Maria Lezzi emphasized that further development in the Alps must have a sustainable foundation. A balance between differing interests must therefore be sought.