COP27: President of the Swiss Confederation urges international community to keep 1.5°C target in sight
Sharm el-Sheikh, 07.11.2022 - President Ignazio Cassis has represented Switzerland at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. During his speech, Mr Cassis stated that this year's edition must not be the one to abandon the 1.5°C target. The conference’s aim is to promote implementation of the Paris climate agreement.
During his speech at the summit, which was opened on 7 November 2022 and attended by around 100 heads of state and government, Mr Cassis strongly emphasised the fact that climate change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time.
Mr Cassis, who is also head of the FDFA, went on to state that "climate change has left a particularly devastating legacy this year" in reference to the floods in Pakistan as well as heatwaves and droughts in several parts of the world. He added that Switzerland would therefore continue to maintain its climate targets, despite the current energy crisis. Switzerland is committed to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
Mr Cassis also lent his support to the ambitious commitments of the COP27 agenda, which includes a clear and concrete timetable for all states to divest from fossil fuels. In addition, he made a clear commitment to a work programme aimed at advancing climate policies in different countries and to strengthening climate adaptation, development and humanitarian efforts at the global level.
Responding to needs in developing countries
To meet the Paris climate agreement targets, COP27 participants underscored the need to step up financing for the poorest and most vulnerable countries (LDC), including those in the small island developing state (SIDS) category. "Countries that need the financial support to make this transition must receive it; those with the capacity to assist them must contribute" stressed Mr Cassis.
Switzerland acknowledges the serious adaptation needs facing these countries, as well as the need to support them in mitigating and addressing the increasing loss and damage related to climate change. Against this backdrop, over the next four years Switzerland will, subject to parliamentary approval, contribute CHF 155,4 million to the Global Environment Facility, CHF 11,8 million to the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and CHF 16 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) in order to meet the target of doubling financing for adaptation. Both of these funds prioritise climate adaptation measures in LCDs and SIDS. Switzerland will also contribute an additional CHF 8 million to the World Bank's Disaster Risk Insurance and Financing (DRFI) programme to help strengthen the resilience of its partner states, as well as CHF 4 million to the CREWS initiative, which provides a funding mechanism to address the needs of LDCs and SIDS. This sum is in addition to Switzerland's current CHF 9 million contribution for developing early warning systems for all.
Bilateral meetings on conference margins
Mr Cassis signed a bilateral climate agreement with Morocco's Minister for Energy Transition and Sustainable Development Leila Benali on the margins of the conference. He also participated in a round table on food security.
At COP27, President Cassis exchanged views with the new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, the new Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh as well as the Presidents of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, Romania, Klaus Iohannis, and Israel, Isaac Herzog.
The second week of COP27 will see environment ministers meeting to discuss issues at a high political level. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, will represent Switzerland at the meeting. COP27 will continue until 18 November.
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