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Switzerland and Georgia sign climate deal

Published on October 18, 2021

Switzerland and Georgia signed an agreement in Bern on Monday on climate protection. It is intended to develop a national programme to promote the energy efficiency of buildings in the Caucasus country.

“Well-insulated houses and efficient heating systems reduce CO2 emissions. These measures help protect the climate and benefit the population,” said Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga in a statement.

The aim is to build on the experience gained in Switzerland under the Building programme, which supports the renovation of buildings and encourages the use of renewable energy with funds from the CO2 tax and contributions from the cantons.

The agreement, signed by Sommaruga and her Georgian counterpart Levan Davitashvili, is due to enter into force this year. Switzerland has already concluded similar agreements with Peru, Ghana and Senegal.

Respect for human rights

“With these agreements, we have established a common standard for international climate projects that respect human rights and nature,” said Sommaruga.

By ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, Bern has committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This target remains valid even after the rejection of the revised CO2 law last June, her ministry pointed out.

The Federal Council (executive body) and parliament intend to achieve this target primarily through domestic measures. However, the Paris Agreement allows states to support climate projects abroad to achieve their climate targets. Switzerland can count the emission reductions achieved in this way towards its national target.