The concept of a "green economy" implies development towards a climate-friendly economy that is low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially equitable.
The aim is to stimulate public and private investments that promote energy and resource efficiency, reduce emissions and pollution, and preserve environmental resources.
United Nations Environment Programme: "Green Economy Initiative"
The UN member states renewed the global commitment to sustainable development with their acceptance of a closing document at the UN Conference on Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Switzerland was represented at the conference by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard. The Rio resolution marked the introduction of the green economy to the global policy agenda. The Rio final document
achieves some progress, such as the creation of goals for sustainable development, but does not meet the challenge it poses in all respects.
In early 2012 the Federal Council adopted the new Sustainable Development Strategy, which sets out its policies on the “green economy”, the main theme of the Summit. Development cooperation
efforts will also bring the green economy into sharper focus.
UN Rio+20 Conference and the SDC's commitment
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take place from 20 to 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. It aims to renew the political commitment to sustainable development and sets two main priorities:
What solutions are there to poverty- and development-related problems? What institutional changes are needed to design a future-oriented international development and environmental policy? Rio+20 provides an opportunity to realign the international environment and development policy.
Fast population growth in developing and emerging countries, rising demand for energy and growing pressure on natural resources require a comprehensive rethinking on how to manage economic growth.
In the lead-up to the Rio+20 conference, the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability has put forward a set of recommendations to achieve a truly sustainable development: through economic growth that reduces poverty and social disparities and respects the natural limits of our planet. The High-level Panel, which included former Federal Councillor and President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey, published its final report with 56 recommendations in early 2012.
Switzerland committed to concrete objectives and a roadmap for a green economy
In the preparatory negotiations to the Rio+20 Conference, Switzerland will argue, in accordance with the mandate of the Federal Council, that the international community agree to concrete objectives and measures and a roadmap for a green economy. This will involve national action plans that take into account the needs, priorities and political processes of individual countries and that are in harmony with strategies to combat poverty. In addition, Switzerland will advocate for the creation of a Global Sustainability Council that would report directly to the UN General Assembly together with the setting of measurable sustainability objectives.
SDC commitment in five specific areas
Sustainable development is a key frame of reference for Swiss development cooperation. The SCD is active in five areas to support Switzerland's contribution to a globalisation that promotes development and is at the same time environmentally friendly and socially responsible:
Additional Information and Documents
- Rio+20 Konferenz und Corporate Sustainability Forum: Beitrag von DEZA-Direktor Martin Dahinden
Download (PDF, 84 KB) : [de]
- Un seul monde
Disponible seulement en Suisse
No. 1/2012 : Économie verte / Himalaya : exode vers les villes
Download (PDF, 1509 KB) : [de] [fr] [it]
- L’accent multilatéral / Mars 2012 : Rio+20 devra montrer les dents
De l’économie verte au développement durable
Download (PDF, 935 KB) : [de] [fr]
- Rio+20 preparatory conference ends without agreement
- Rio+20 with Swiss President Widmer-Schlumpf and Federal Councillor Leuthard
- 20 years of sustainable development in Switzerland since the Rio Earth Summit: a contrasting evolution
- Federal Council issues negotiating mandate for UN «Rio+20» sustainability summit
- "A Future Worth Choosing" – Final report of the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability