President Sommaruga: "The climate conference is an historic opportunity"

Press Release, FDJP, 30.11.2015

Bern. President Simonetta Sommaruga represented Switzerland at the meeting of heads of state and government at the start of the 21st UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris. In her speech, she called for the conclusion of a universal and binding climate protection agreement. Global warming and the related consequences for humankind and the environment are among the most urgent challenges faced by the international community today, said Ms Sommaruga in Paris on Monday. All countries are therefore called upon to make an effective contribution to limiting climate change.

The President of the Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, at the Leaders Event at COP 21 UNFCCC, Paris, with President François Hollande, Segolène Royal, Laurent Fabius, Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres
enlarge_picture The President of the Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, at the Leaders Event at COP 21 UNFCCC, Paris, with President François Hollande, Segolène Royal, Laurent Fabius, Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres (foto: Keystone)

On Monday, President Simonetta Sommaruga, along with over 140 other heads of state and government from around the world, opened the 21st UN Climate Change Conference. In her speech, President Sommaruga stressed that climate change poses a serious threat to our planet. Switzerland, too, is directly affected: "Our glaciers are melting and retreating further every year." This could have severe consequences for Switzerland.

Ms Sommaruga expressed the conviction that the climate conference in Paris presents an historic opportunity and that the international community now has to agree on a climate convention that obliges all states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She stressed that it is the shared responsibility of all states to protect the climate for future generations, and went on to say that this requires a legally binding, dynamic and fair climate agreement.

Two-week conference

The UN Climate Conference takes place in Paris between 30 November and 11 December. Over the next two weeks, the 196 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have to agree on the key elements of an international climate agreement for the period after 2020. Agreement hinges on three key aspects: reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, that are responsible for global warming; adapting to climate change; and supporting the climate policies of developing countries through financial support and technology transfer. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard will attend the negotiations in the last week of the conference. The previously announced national goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not enough to limit  global warming to below 2 degrees by 2100. In order to actually achieve these goals, Switzerland is actively involved in developing common rules to set and monitor them.

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