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Swiss call for more climate commitment

Swiss Environment Minister Doris Leuthard has stressed the need for all major culprits to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This content was published on December 8, 2011 - 16:29
swissinfo.ch and agencies

“The current regime, building on a simplistic distinction between developed countries with specific obligations and developing countries without such obligations, is clearly no solution to today’s challenge,” said Leuthard, speaking at the United Nations Climate Conference in Durban.

There she has met several environment ministers from Europe, Africa and Asia.

“Today, many developing countries have higher per capita emissions than developed countries. The new regime has to reflect these realities,” she said on Thursday.

For this reason, Switzerland is pleading for a legally binding agreement that would apply to all major emitters and be based on common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.

The development of a comprehensive climate regime would take time, Leuthard explained. “But we have to start to build this regime here and now in Durban. We need to agree on a vision of a single, comprehensive and legally binding instrument that must be in place by 2020.”

Switzerland would continue to implement its domestic policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. It would also renew its international commitment in the context of a second Kyoto period “if all major emitters accept ambitious commitments commensurate with their capabilities”, Leuthard said.

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