13.03.2006 | Meeting reportThe climate does not leave us cool – especially not after 2012
34. Treffen der Parlamentarischen Gruppe «Klimaänderung» vom 8 März 2006
The parliamentary meeting in March 2006 focused on long-term climatic perspectives and visions for a Swiss climate policy after 2012. The meeting attracted over thirty parliamentarians and key persons from governmental agencies.
Fortunat Joos from the University of Berne stressed that it is now undisputed among scientists that human activities lead to exceptionally rapid, long lasting climatic change. Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to a fraction of today's emissions to slow this change. Model simulations indicate that the anticipated price increase for fossil fuel over the next years is not sufficient. If we do not act fast, we will be challenged to enforce much faster and costful reductions per decade in the future.
Bruno Oberle, the new director of the BAFU (Federal Office for the Environment) outlined his vision for a Swiss climate policy beyond 2012. He pointed out that the impact of climate change on the alpine region is more severe than on average. On the other hand the energy intensity of the Swiss industry is lower in general. The industry is thus less affected by an increased oil prize. The long-term target is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions to about 1 ton of CO2 per person. This should be achieved through a portfolio of economic instruments and a balanced responsibility of all sectors. Switzerland will work toward a worldwide implementation of the «polluter pays principle». It will be of utmost importance that the US and the developing countries with rapid economic growth adopt quickly an effective climate policy as well. Adaptation will become important besides mitigation.