UN Climate Change Conference COP26: President Parmelin calls for return to path agreed in Paris

Bern, 02.11.2021 - President Guy Parmelin represented Switzerland at the World Leaders Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow (UK). He stressed that current efforts to limit global warming to a maximum increase of 1.5 degrees, as required by the Paris Agreement, fall far short of the mark. The last remaining rules for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement adopted in 2015 are to be decided at COP26.

The Glasgow conference must achieve three goals, Mr Parmelin explained at the World Leaders Summit, which he and around 100 heads of state and government opened on Monday, 1 November. It must set the world back on a path that will restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees, set robust rules for implementing the Paris Agreement and mobilise financial resources in order to achieve shared goals.

"I call on all countries, especially the major emitters, to aim for climate neutrality by 2050. However, that is not going far enough; these long-term objectives must be translated into short-term action. I therefore call on all countries to submit ambitious climate goals for 2030," he said. He reaffirmed Switzerland's intention to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to be climate neutral by 2050.

Switzerland is contributing a further CHF 10 million (2022–2024) to the UN Adaptation Fund and CHF 8 million (2022–2025) to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). It is also contributing around CHF 9 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (2020–2022) and USD 16 million to the Climate Investment Fund. Switzerland will also contribute around CHF 10 million to the High Impact Partnership for Climate Action set up by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

On the opening day, Mr Parmelin was welcomed along with the other state guests by members of the royal family and by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His agenda in Glasgow included participation in a high-level meeting dedicated to the 'critical decade' and an event hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Mr Parmelin also visited the Cryosphere Pavilion, which is co-sponsored by Switzerland and shows the effects of climate change on the earth's ice.

Bilateral meetings on the margins of the conference

On the margins of the conference, Mr Parmelin held a number of bilateral discussions. At his meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernández the talks focused on economic and financial issues. During the talks with Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhennouch, both sides expressed their desire to deepen bilateral relations. With Eamon Courtenay, the Foreign Minister of Belize, Mr Parmelin discussed cooperation between the two countries at international level. The discussion with UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan covered topics of bilateral interest as well as European policy.

Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga and Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer will also represent Switzerland in Glasgow in the coming days. The 26th UN Climate Conference runs until 12 November.

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