Leaders Event at COP 21 UNFCCC, Paris

Statement by the President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga

Speeches, FDJP, 30.11.2015. President of the Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga. Check against delivery.

Mr. President, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Climate Action is urgent

Switzerland is also directly affected by climate change: our glaciers are melting and retreating year by year. Climate change poses a significant threat to our planet and to the welfare and health of all our societies

This is why Switzerland has come to Paris to adopt a new climate change Agreement that will:

  • limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degree Celsius;
  • boost the climate resilience of all countries;
  • and be fair for all Parties in the context of their evolving responsibilities and capabilities

Paris as an opportunity for a shift towards climate- proof investments

Paris provides us with an opportunity to build a solid global foundation for a shift towards climate-proof investments. To facilitate this aim, the new Agreement must set a global and stable framework. Therefore, the Agreement must contain the same obligations and rules for all Parties and be enduring.

Only an Agreement that is binding for all Parties in the same way and has a common rules-based foundation will unite all countries in a transformation into low carbon economies and resilient societies.

Mr. President, Excellencies,

To ensure the potential of the new climate Agreement is exploited to the full, it must be legally binding, dynamic and fair.

In relation to mitigation, all Parties must communicate a clear, transparent and understandable nationally determined mitigation commitment every five years. The successive mitigation commitments of each Party must be more ambitious than its previous efforts. Five-year cycles and progression will gradually advance the world from the currently submitted INDCs to a 2-degree path.

In relation to climate finance, the involvement of all countries in the mobilisation of climate-friendly investments is essential. Support for countries in need is crucial. Hence, all Parties that are in a position to do so must provide support to the Parties who need it.

In relation to adaptation, planning and cooperation are central and all Parties must be engaged in these processes.

Switzerland’s engagement for climate change

Switzerland is ready to be at the forefront of climate action.

Early this year, Switzerland announced that it intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2030 with the help of international mechanisms with high environmental standards.

Furthermore, Switzerland more than tripled its public climate finance between 2009 and 2014 and remains committed to mobilising its fair share of the targeted USD 100 billion per year by 2020. Switzerland will formalize its entire pledge of USD 100 million to the Green Climate Fund by the end of January 2016 at the latest and has already made its first contribution. We strongly urge other Parties to do the same. Support for the countries most in need is crucial. Therefore, Switzerland will also increase its annual contribution to the Least Developed Countries Fund by 75 percent and provide USD 6.25 million by 2018.

Mr President, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Here in Paris, we must adopt a legally binding, ambitious and rules-based climate Agreement for the next decades that will serve the well-being of our societies. Together, and only together, we can take action to protect our climate for future generations.

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