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Ministers make joint plea for green future

A plan has been presented to make Switzerland a leader in environmentally friendly technologies by 2020.

Outgoing ministers for economics and the environment, Doris Leuthard and Moritz Leuenberger, announced a joint “cleantech masterplan” on Tuesday for Switzerland to “reduce its use of resources to environmentally sustainable levels”.

The 160-page document outlines measures including boosting the clean technology sector and cutting down on the use of energy resources in Switzerland. The plan will now go to consultation.

Within ten years it envisages the country becoming top in clean technology research and production. The field includes renewable energy, information technology and eco-friendly transport.

“Switzerland is doing well but our international competitors are doing better. We need to adapt our way of life and look towards sustainability,” said Leuthard, who becomes environment minister in a cabinet reshuffle on November 1. She noted that the plan’s goals would be costly.

Clean technologies worldwide amount to around SFr2 trillion ($2.08 trillion) and could rise to SFr2.9 trillion by 2020.

Over the past decade Switzerland has lost its advantage in the field. Around 160,000 people in Switzerland use green technologies, or 4.5 per cent of the population. They generate an added value of up to SFr20 billion. and agencies

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