Switzerland’s National Statement at COP 25

  10.12.2019 - Switzerland’s National Statement at COP 25 by Marc Chardonnens, director of the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN      

Your Excellency, Mrs Carolina Schmidt,
Your Excellency, Mrs Patricia Espinosa,
Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends

2019 marks unprecedented effects of climate change and strong public movements:

  • hundreds of temperature records around the world were broken over the year;
  • a surge of hurricanes, forest fires, floods, and droughts took place;
  • the IPCC Special Report on Land, and the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere, shed new light on the implications of climate change;
  • the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, reflected the political commitment to act;
  • at the Summit, Switzerland, together with 65 other countries, as well as cities, businesses, and investors, announced its intention to become climate neutral by 2050; and
  • national movements in several countries, including mine, showed strong support for ambitious climate change policies.

Science is clear, and science is not negotiable: we have to act; we all have to act; collectively, individually, each one of us.

Paris had delivered the paradigm shift needed: it engages all Parties, while providing the needed flexibility for different national circumstances.

At COP 25 we need to make the Paris Agreement fully effective: we have to close the remaining gap in the Paris rules book. Robust rules for cooperation under Article 6 must prevent double counting, ensure environmental integrity, promote sustainable development and prohibit a fragmentation of the carbon market.

I agree, flexibility and compromise are needed to find solutions in negotiations. Yet flexibility and compromise are bound by the Paris Agreement.

Prevention of double counting, ensuring environmental integrity and the promotion of sustainable development are neither negotiable, nor open for compromise: they are required by the Paris Agreement. And, they are needed to enhance and not dilute our ambition.

We cannot afford to adopt rules on markets that are not robust: this would violate the Agreement achieved at the highest level in Paris; this would undermine the purpose of cooperation under the Paris Agreement. It would be a failure of multilateralism, not a success. And this, we can neither afford nor accept.

Therefore: instead of adopting bad rules, we must take the time needed to develop the rules we need, the rules the climate needs, the rules that most importantly the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged need.

Switzerland strongly advocates robust multilateral rules on Article 6 cooperation. In the absence of such multilateral rules, Switzerland started to elaborate high standards on a bilateral basis. Two weeks ago, Switzerland and Peru have published the foreseen framework conditions for cooperation under Art. 6.2 of the Paris Agreement. We demonstrate that such cooperation can be implemented fully in line with the Paris Agreement. Should we not be able to adopt robust rules here in Madrid, Switzerland commits to apply the elaborated high standards in its Article 6 activities, and prevent double counting, ensure environmental integrity and promote sustainable development, including the respect of human rights.

In the context of the planned engagement of Switzerland under Article 6, I am pleased to announce a new contribution of 15 million US dollars to the Adaptation Fund. In the current absence of international guidance on Article 6, including on its levied contribution to the Adaptation Fund, Switzerland hereby emphasizes its continued commitment to adaptation finance. Switzerland looks forward to the conclusion of Article 6 negotiations in order to ensure predictable long-term financing of the Adaptation Fund.

Switzerland remains committed to its fair share in climate finance. Switzerland will increase, subject to Government and Parliamentary approval, its contribution to the Green Climate Fund by 50%, through a contribution of 150 Million US dollars to the first formal replenishment period. Switzerland’s contribution stands in the context of improvements in focused programming, quality of operations as well as governance and institutional reforms of the Green Climate Fund.

Finally, I am pleased to announce a contribution of Switzerland of 16 million US dollars to the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP) of the Strategic Climate Fund.

Even with our best efforts, climate change is happening. Adaptation is the top priority of each of us. Therefore, we must make the strengthened framework on adaptation under the Paris Agreement fully operational. Switzerland has handed in its adaptation plans, to share its experience and to learn from each other.

Adaptation means also to be prepared for losses and damages: first, by preventing their occurrence through smart policies and action; and secondly, by being able to handle those that we cannot prevent. The Warsaw Implementation Mechanism on Loss and Damage is the established tool to work together on this challenge. I hope its review will help us to further strengthen the international response.

Excellencies, let me conclude by thanking the Governments of Chile and Spain for their leadership in this COP as well as the UNFCCC secretariat for organizing this important conference, and by thanking all of you for a deep and uncompromised commitment to the Paris Agreement and its objectives.

Letzte Änderung 10.12.2019

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