Leuthard warns against egoism in green issues

Swiss Environment Minister Doris Leuthard, on a three-day visit to the United States, has said egoism must be put aside in the fight against climate change.

This content was published on July 14, 2011 and agencies

In a speech at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) near Boston the minister pointed to the Swiss opt-out of nuclear energy by 2034 as showing how politics can give impetus to green issues.

The effects of climate change are not restricted to national borders and any delay in acting could be fatal, Leuthard warned on Wednesday. The climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of last year, had brought no firm commitments.

“Everyone is trying to protect their own interests, instead of acting in the interests of the world community,” said Leuthard, according to the text of her speech.

Politics must create incentives necessary for technology transfer and for bringing new, environmentally-friendly products to consumers, added the minister, pointing to Switzerland’s decision to opt-out of nuclear power as an example.

“This is a smooth continuation of our tried and tested environment, research and innovation policies,” she said.

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