Swiss government submits its proposals for UN Rio +20 Earth Summit

Bern, November 2011. The international community should not miss the opportunity to send clear messages on the Green Economy at the Rio+20 conference. At the same time, it should showcase major steps already being implemented. This is in a nutshell the vision of the government of Switzerland, as expressed in its official submission to UNCSD 2012 (Rio +20).

Switzerland regards the World Resource Forum that took place in Davos from 19 to 21 September 2011 as an important initiative. “Switzerland welcomes its outcome as an important contribution to the Green Economy debate and in particular shares the call for clear objectives, targets and instruments to implement the Green Economy.”

Rio +20 will take place in  Rio de Janeiro, June 2012, and is the fourth major UN Conference on Environment, Development and Sustainable Development at Heads of State Level.

Important initiatives exist at the international level as for example on sustainable consumption and production, discussions in the WTO committee on trade and environment or the standardization for information on environmental information and Switzerland’s support to developing countries and emerging economies in the fields such as sustainable agriculture and rural development, climate adaptation or water and sanitation.

Switzerland is of the view that the main outcomes for the theme Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be an international Green Economy roadmap and the commitment of countries to develop a national Green Economy action plan. The international Green Economy roadmap should consist of two levels: at the policy level, the Green Economy roadmap needs to contain a common vision, common objectives as well as concrete targets for the transformation towards a Green Economy. This roadmap should apply for the international community as a whole, whereas differentiated responsibilities and solutions for each country apply. At the operational level, the Green Economy roadmap needs to bring together best practices and tools in order to meet the targets and to implement Green Economy.

Internationally agreed objectives and targets which will create the enabling conditions and make the transformation towards a Green Economy operational and measureable should be formulated in particular in the following areas: commitment to formulate national Green Economy action plans; measurement of progress towards a Green Economy; ecological market transparency and trade; fossil fuel subsidies reform; sustainable public procurement; education for Green Economy; sustainable agriculture and food security; sustainable energy; sustainable water management; sustainable management of fragile ecosystems; resource efficient and cleaner production; trade in sustainable biodiversity products and services.

Full submission of Switzerland to be downloaded here (PDF)

Press release here

The new Rio+20 website of the Swiss government can be found here.