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.
The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste at international level will convene in Geneva from 28 April to 10 May 2013. In continuation of their synergies process, they will convene jointly for two days with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard will participate in the ministerial segment of the conference to be held on 9 and 10 May. The Federal Council approved the mandate of the Swiss delegation to the conference on 10 April 2013.
Following a week of intensive negotiations, the new mercury convention was adopted on 19 January 2013 by the approximately 140 participating states. The convention will enable the reduction in mercury emissions, which are highly toxic to health and the environment, at global level. Switzerland is very pleased with the successful outcome of the process, to which it made a major contribution.
Together with delegates from over 140 countries, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard participated in the final round of the UNEP negotiations on the establishment of a mercury convention this afternoon. She appealed for the passing of a convention that would guarantee a reduction in global mercury emissions.
The fifth and final session of negotiations on the establishment of an international mercury convention will take place from 13 to 18 January 2013 in Geneva. The session is expected to culminate in the adoption of an agreement that aims to reduce mercury emissions and releases to the air, water and land. During the negotiations, Switzerland, which has been very committed to the establishment of the new convention, will support the effective and comprehensive regulation of mercury, that is its production, use and waste management. The Federal Council approved the mandate of the Swiss negotiating delegation on 9 January 2013.
The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha (Qatar) ended on 8 December 2012 with an agreement. The Kyoto Protocol will be continued until 2020 and the conclusion of a comprehensive climate agreement was confirmed for the post-2020 period. From the perspective of the Swiss delegation the conference achieved the minimum of what it set out to do.
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.
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.