Pilot projects on new market approaches

Switzerland wants to reach its greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 in part with reductions achieved abroad. The Paris Agreement provides for new market approaches for the trading of emission reductions between countries and for counting them towards their own targets. The rules are currently being negotiated internationally. Switzerland and the Climate Cent Foundation are developing pilot projects to test the new approaches and develop practical solutions for the period after 2020. Switzerland will then be able to contribute these experiences to the negotiations.

The Paris Agreement, which governs international climate policy from 2021, provides in Article 6 that emission reductions can be traded between countries and taken into account for the reduction targets. Such cooperation between countries must ensure environmental integrity and transparency, avoid double counting and contribute to sustainable development. To that end, concrete rules will be developed by the end of 2018 within the framework of international climate negotiations.

Under the Paris Agreement, Switzerland has defined an emission reduction target of minus 50 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, for which emission reductions achieved abroad may be partially used. In December 2017, the Federal Council proposed measures to reach this target in its Dispatch on the total revision of the CO2 Act for the post-2020 period. A maximum of 20 percent of the reductions (compared to 1990 levels) are to be achieved abroad.

Pilot projects with countries and the private sector

Switzerland is preparing for the period after 2020 with pilot projects. It wants to develop and test concrete solutions with interested countries and the private sector. It should be noted that all countries have now set reduction targets – currently according to different approaches: How is this taken into account when determining the emission reductions of a project and how can we ensure that reductions are recorded correctly and not double counted?

In order to clarify such concrete questions, DETEC has concluded a contract with the Climate Cent Foundation for the use of remaining Foundation assets which originate from a tax on gasoline and diesel imports in the years 2005 to 2012. Based on this contract and in line with the purpose of the Foundation, at least CHF 20 million will be made available to finance pilot projects abroad. Decisions on pilot projects will be made by agreement between the Confederation and Climate Cent Foundation. The first pilot projects could already start in 2018.

Switzerland intends to bring its experience from the pilot projects into international negotiations, in particular to support the development of ambitious and credible rules on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Switzerland is currently developing pilot activities with Colombia (capture and energetic use of landfill gas), Mexico (capture and energetic use of landfill gas), Peru (efficient cook stoves) and Thailand (fleet electric vehicles). Current work includes the development of a bilateral agreement that would cover aspects such as corresponding adjustments to ensure that there is no double counting as well as respective responsibilities of involved public and private stakeholders.

Beyond piloting: Future collaborations under Article 6 with countries and the private sector

Switzerland is currently identifying potential partner countries that would be interested in collaborating by selling emission reductions in the context of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the revised CO2 Act (currently under discussion at the Parliament). Interested countries or stakeholders can contact the Federal Office for the Environment at swissflex@bafu.admin.ch. Sourcing of specific projects is under the responsibility of the KliK Foundation.

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Last modification 11.12.2018

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