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Switzerland outlines goals for climate summit

Switzerland says it is willing to commit to a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, due for renegotiation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun.

The government expressed support on Wednesday for a follow-up to the Protocol, which expires in 2012, but also set out a proviso: that industrialised nations not party to the Protocol - such as the United States – take on the same legally binding greenhouse gas emission reductions.

In announcing the government’s goals for the conference, it was also confirmed that Swiss President and Environment Minister Doris Leuthard would represent Switzerland at ministerial talks in the Mexican resort from December 8-11.

The cabinet called for the creation of a “comprehensive new climate regime that would involve commitments for all industrialised countries and the most important newly industrialised nations”.

As part of its negotiating mandate given to Leuthard, the cabinet said that it was prepared to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and would raise the stakes to 30 per cent if other countries followed suit.

Also confirmed was the government’s approval of a “considerable” increase in financial support to developing countries for measures aimed at emission reduction and adaptation to climate change.

Details of how much will be clarified in Cancun.

It also supports the non-binding agreement taken last year in Copenhagen - a two degree Celsius limit for rising temperatures. and agencies


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