President Alain Berset and Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard at UN Climate Conference in Poland

Bern, 26.11.2018 - President Alain Berset and Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard will attend the next UN climate conference being held in Katowice, Poland, from 3 to 14 December. The international community will gather to draw up guidelines on implementing the Paris climate agreement, to be known as the Paris Rulebook. Switzerland will be pushing for detailed regulations.

Along with 45 other heads of state and government, President Berset will open the COP24 (24th Conference of the Parties) on Monday, 3 December. The summit plans to adopt the Silesia Declaration, which sets out how the international community intends to address climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our time. The declaration describes the action to be taken to achieve solidarity and a just transition to a climate-friendly society.

Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), will attend the conference's ministerial meeting on 12 December. Topics under discussion will include the extension of national reduction targets.

The targets currently agreed do not go far enough to limiting global warming to significantly less than 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees Celsius, as the Paris climate agreement requires. The discussion will take place in the light of the report published in October by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which also highlights the need to limit global warming to between 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius and to reduce emissions accordingly.

The National Council will debate the revision of the CO2 Act in the winter session of Parliament. The revised law contains measures designed to meet the commitments made by Switzerland under the Paris climate agreement. Switzerland aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 1990 levels by 2030.

The Federal Council approved the mandate of the Swiss delegation in Katowice in September. Switzerland will advocate the introduction of robust and detailed rules to ensure the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. The agreement commits all states to taking effective steps to protect the climate according to their responsibilities and their means.

A few days before the conference, on 22 November, Mr Berset also took part in the Climate Vulnerable Forum virtual summit, at which representatives of countries most affected by climate change communicated via an internet platform and social media, advocating the need for the rapid and binding implementation of the Paris agreement.

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