Climate change: Simonetta Sommaruga at John Kerry's climate roundtable

Bern, 23.04.2021 - Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga today took part in a roundtable hosted by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. The meeting was part of the «Leaders Summit on Climate» to which US President Joe Biden invited 40 world leaders. The discussions centred on the enhanced climate ambitions of the major economies and the additional economic benefits of climate action. Ms Sommaruga welcomed the new climate goal announced by the US. At the roundtable, she also expressed Switzerland's hopes for effective market rules for international climate action projects at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26, which will help to protect the environment and human rights.

Convened by US President Joe Biden, the virtual «Leaders Summit on Climate» was held on 22 and 23 April. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga represented Switzerland at a roundtable meeting on 23 April chaired by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. A key topic of discussion was the economic benefits to be gained through stronger climate action. Many new jobs are being created through the shift away from oil, gas and other fossil fuels and the increased promotion of innovative technologies and renewable energies.

The US announced a new climate goal at the summit, pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50‒52% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Ms Sommaruga welcomed the move by the US to rejoin the Paris Agreement. She acknowledged their new climate goal and reiterated the importance for all countries to raise their climate ambitions. Switzerland intends to strengthen its climate action with the CO2 Act, which will come before the electorate on 13 June. Based on incentives, innovation and technological progress, this new legislation will stimulate output and jobs for the future.

Federal Councillor Sommaruga also spoke about the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26. She stressed the need for strong rules for market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement to ensure that international climate action projects respect nature conservation and human rights and prevent double-counting of emission reductions. Last autumn Switzerland signed landmark climate protection agreements with Peru and Ghana which ensure compliance with these criteria.

The climate summit brought together 40 heads of state and government from countries with some of the largest greenhouse gas emissions as well as other countries demonstrating strong climate leadership or especially vulnerable to climate impacts.

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