Instrument of ratification deposited: Paris climate agreement to enter into force for Switzerland on 5 November 2017

Bern, 06.10.2017 - Switzerland deposited its instrument of ratification in New York on 6 October 2017, making it an official party to the Paris Agreement. The agreement will come into effect for Switzerland 30 days later, on 5 November 2017. One of the agreement's main objectives is to maintain the increase in global temperatures well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Switzerland was actively involved in the negotiations leading up to the climate agreement.

Ambassador Jürg Lauber, Switzerland's head of mission to the UN in New York, deposited Switzerland's instrument of ratification of the Paris climate agreement with the UN Secretary-General on Friday morning. The UN Secretary-General is the depositary of the agreement, which was adopted on 12 December 2015 in Paris by the 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Switzerland will therefore participate as a member in the conference of parties to the Paris Agreement at the next Climate Change Conference, to be held from 6 to 17 November this year in Bonn, Germany.

A new era in international climate policy

The Paris Agreement ushers in a new era of international policy on climate change. It promotes a gradual shift away from fossil fuels, with a view to balancing emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the second half of this century.

The agreement seeks to maintain the increase in global temperatures well below 2°C, or even limit it to 1.5°C, by seeking a commitment from all states to reduce their GHG emissions. Funding from public and private sources will flow into formulating low-GHG emission development strategies and building capacities in climate change adaptation.

Emissions to be halved by 2030

In ratifying the Paris Agreement, Switzerland's pledge to halve emissions by 2030 against its 1990 baseline becomes binding. This target was approved by Parliament in June 2017, at the same time as approving ratification. The agreement stipulates that the emissions reduction target should be met primarily by reducing domestic emissions. It does however include the possibility of achieving emissions reductions abroad with the use of market mechanisms, the rules for which are expected to be approved by the international community by 2018. The ratio of Switzerland's domestic reductions to those achieved in other countries will be set out in the CO2 Act. In the draft revision submitted for consultation in 2016, the Federal Council proposed that up to a maximum of 20% of GHG emissions reductions (with respect to 1990) could be achieved abroad and counted towards Switzerland's target for 2030. The dispatch on the revised CO2 Act is expected to be submitted to Parliament at the end of 2017.

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