Swiss climate official defends ‘robust’ national objectives

The COP27 United Nations climate conference is taking place in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6-18. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Switzerland’s top negotiator at the COP27 talks, Franz Perrez, has been defending the Alpine country’s climate policy. Unlike other countries, Switzerland “implements decisions taken”, he told the Le Temps newspaper.  

This content was published on November 10, 2022
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“Our objectives are robust,” declared Perrez, who is leading the Swiss delegation at the COP27 United Nations climate conference in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, taking place from November 6-18.

Answering criticism in a recent New York Times articleExternal link that Switzerland's emissions targets are insufficiently ambitious, Perrez toldExternal link Le Temps on Thursday that “unfortunately this is the case for most countries”.

Climate delegates and government officials in Sharm el-Sheikh are discussing the implementation of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2030, and how to meet emission reduction targets.

Switzerland wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Under the terms of the Paris climate agreement, Switzerland has pledged to halve emissions by 2030. But the country narrowly missed its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 despite coronavirus lockdowns and an unusually warm winter.


Finance is also centre stage at COP27. Officials in Egypt are discussing the rules of the finance mechanism that allows countries to achieve their climate goals by financing climate protection projects abroad.

“Concerning the objective of $100 billion per year to finance the ecological transition of the poorest countries, Switzerland has contributed fairly,” said Perrez, adding that Switzerland was among the world’s leading contributors.

In the Le Temps interview Perrez responded to criticism in the New York Times that the wealthy Alpine country is relying on carbon-offsetting projects in poorer countries to help cut its CO2 emissions.

Perrez said the projects financed “do not replace the measures taken in Switzerland”. He added: “The commitment that we pursue abroad goes beyond our national efforts.”

The New York Times said Switzerland had signed carbon-offsetting agreements with eight countries — Peru, Ghana, Senegal, Georgia, Vanuatu, Dominica, Thailand and Ukraine — and was in talks with at least three more nations to implement projects.

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