International economic policies and the environment

The way in which natural resources are produced, distributed and consumed is the number one cause behind the crises of global warming, biodiversity loss and pollution. Fundamental change is needed to tackle these challenges. Two thirds of the environmental impact of Swiss consumption is generated abroad by imported products and raw materials. Switzerland is involved in international efforts to promote sustainable resource management. These activities reflect Switzerland's ecological responsibility and serve its economic and social interests.

The following processes are a particular priority for Switzerland:

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD is an intergovernmental organisation whose 38 member countries share a commitment to democracy and the market economy. Its mission is to promote public policies that improve the well-being of all populations around the world. To do so, it provides a forum where governments can combine their efforts and share their experiences. The OECD also carries out analytical and comparative work for member countries, issues recommendations and establishes recognised international standards.

International Resource Panel/IRP (UNEP)

The International Resource Panel was launched in 2007 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as an interface between scientists and policymakers on the sustainable use of natural resources. The IRP draws up independent scientific assessments on the use and environmental impact of natural resources throughout the life cycle, which provide the necessary scientific basis for policy decisions. Its flagship report, Global Resources Outlook[PLMB1] , is published every four years. The IRP also carries out specific work, in particular on mineral resources.

10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP/One Planet Network)

The 10-Year Framework (2012–22) of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) was passed at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. In 2022, the UN General Assembly extended its mandate to 2030. It is a concrete instrument for the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns and hence also for implementation of the green economy. Switzerland was actively involved in the Marrakech Process, in which the 10YFP was developed and led the task force on the topic of sustainable public procurement. UNEP acts as the secretariat for the 10YFP. Switzerland co-chairs the 10YFP for Sustainable Food Systems. The FOEN continues to support the implementation of the 10YFP's new 2023–30 strategy and co-chairs the 'Group of Friends of the 10YFP'.

Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP)

The partnership was established in 2012 by UNEP, the OECD, the World Bank and the GGGI to provide relevant interest groups with access to knowledge on green growth and the corresponding policy measures. Theoretical knowledge and practical experience is gathered and generated and shared with interested parties. The partnership also supports governments in implementation of their environmental policy measures via three platforms (Green Growth Knowledge Platform, Green Industry Platform and Green Finance Platform). The GGKP Secretariat is based in Geneva.

Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)

PAGE is an alliance of four United Nations agencies: UNEP, the ILO, UNIDO and UNITAR. It was launched at the end of the Rio +20 Conference. PAGE is designed as a central hub for government requests relating to the green economy, and to coordinate the expertise of partner institutions in order to provide targeted responses to these requests. PAGE assists various countries with the planning and implementation of policies for a green economy and contributes to a greater global understanding of green economy principles.

World Resources Forum

The World Resources Forum brings together decision-makers from business, the scientific community and policymaking, who meet every two years in Geneva to discuss a key issue related to the use and consumption of resources in the world. It is the flagship event of the World Resources Forum Association (WRFA). The WRFA seeks to empower multi-stakeholder, international collaboration to improve knowledge, co-create solutions and build capacity for a fair and sustainable use of natural resources.

Batumi BIG-E: Nicosia call

At the ninth UNECE Environment for Europe ministerial conference, which was held in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 5 to 7 October 2022, governments set out the voluntary commitments they plan to implement in the fields of sustainable infrastructure and tourism by 2027. These commitments are part of the 'Pan-European Strategic Framework for Greening the Economy by 2030' which was adopted at the previous ministerial conference, held in Batumi, Georgia, in 2016. To make this strategic framework operational, the Batumi Initiative on Green Economy ('BIG-E') was developed under Swiss leadership. BIG-E is a set of voluntary commitments for greening the economy by interested countries and organisations. Currently, 32 countries and 13 organisations have set out more than 190 commitments. Switzerland announced eight commitments that are in progress concerning sustainable infrastructure and tourism, such as the promotion of higher sustainability standards in major infrastructure projects and support for sustainable hydropower plants in the priority countries of Switzerland's development cooperation. Its commitments also include reducing food waste in tourism and developing a sustainable tourism offering.

Last modification 27.06.2023

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