At its meeting on 29 June 2022, the Federal Council approved a bilateral climate protection agreement with Ukraine. The agreement establishes the legal framework for Switzerland to implement climate protection projects in Ukraine. These projects will aim to reduce CO2 emissions while also contributing to environmentally sustainable reconstruction in Ukraine.
Under the Paris Climate Agreement, Switzerland has committed to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. While this objective is mainly to be achieved through domestic measures, the Paris Agreement also allows countries to use climate protection projects abroad to attain their climate targets. The resulting emissions reductions can be factored into the calculation of national reduction targets.
Switzerland signed the first of these climate agreements with Peru on 20 October 2020, followed by similar agreements with Ghana, Senegal, Georgia, Vanuatu, Dominica and Thailand. The additional agreement that has now been concluded with Ukraine, which will allow Switzerland to reduce CO2 emissions through climate protection projects, was approved by the Federal Council on 29 June 2022. It will also contribute to sustainable reconstruction in Ukraine, with a particular focus on building and strengthening fossil-free energy infrastructure. Project proposals are currently being evaluated.
Strict requirements on environmental protection and human rights
With these bilateral agreements, Switzerland has set the standard for international climate protection projects, including strict requirements for the protection of the environment and human rights. The agreement also ensures that the emissions reductions achieved abroad cannot be counted twice (in both the source and recipient countries). Projects are reviewed regularly to monitor their compliance with the relevant requirements.