Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard has signed the Paris Climate Agreement on April 22, 2016 on behalf of Switzerland at an official ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Ms Leuthard, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC, called the agreement “a solid basis for innovation and new technologies, and so for a low-emission economy”. She wants to see the Agreement implemented as soon as possible and stated: “We mustn’t wait: we must act now on climate change!”
The signing ceremony, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, followed the adoption of the world's first universal climate change agreement by 195 countries in Paris on December 12, 2015. The Paris Agreement sets out a global action plan to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2°C and to drive efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. A country’s signature on the agreement initiates the critical domestic process, on which depends its final entry into force.
Never before has the world been in such agreement on climate protection, Ms Leuthard claimed. The Paris Agreement requires all countries to undertake measures to limit climate change. “With more renewable energies, more carbon-neutral transport and greater energy efficiency we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably,” she explained. What is more, by investing in low-carbon sectors, jobs can be created in an economy marked by sustainable growth. It is now up to the countries of the world to implement the Paris Agreement as rapidly as possible. We do not need to wait for the Agreement to come into effect before taking concrete action. It is Switzerland’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent compared with 1990 levels by the year 2030. The Federal Council therefore intends to revise the CO2 Act and extend existing instruments such as the CO2 levy on fuel. Parliament needs to approve the ratification of the Paris Agreement.
Source: General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC. News. https://www.news.admin.ch/message