Switzerland says it is prepared to follow the European Union in providing additional money to compensate poor countries for the effects of climate change.
In an interview published in Sunday’s NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger said the government could contribute up to an additional SFr150 million ($146 million) per year.
“We can make promises but they are subject to the approval of parliament,” Leuenberger added. Switzerland currently spends SFr80 million in public money to finance mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries.
The EU last Friday promised to allocate €7.2 billion (SFr10.9 billion) over the next three years to short-term measures tackling the effects of global warming in developing countries.
Leuenberger also praised the EU for signalling it may boost its greenhouse gas reductions to 30 per cent from 20 per cent, a move that big European companies have criticised.
Leuenberger held off on saying whether Switzerland would follow suit.
“We are awaiting the outcome of the [Copenhagen climate] conference and will increase [emissions cuts] only if countries like the United States or China commit,” Leuenberger said.
swissinfo.ch and agencies