Switzerland and Thailand sign a Joint Statement on climate protection projects

On 28 May Switzerland signed a Joint Statement on climate protection with Thailand. This lays the foundation for a future agreement enabling Switzerland to offset carbon emissions with climate projects in Thailand. The signing was attended virtually by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), and Thailand's environment minister, Varawut Silpa-archa. Ms Sommaruga pointed to the economic opportunities of climate protection for both countries.

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Under the Paris Agreement, Switzerland has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to half its 1990 levels by 2030. This goal will primarily be achieved through measures within Switzerland. However, the Paris Agreement also allows countries to offset their own emissions through climate projects abroad. This means that Switzerland can count emissions reductions achieved in other countries towards its national abatement target, provided these reductions are not double-counted both at home and abroad. It must also be ensured that climate activities abroad respect nature conservation and human rights and contribute to sustainable development. Last year, on 20 October, Switzerland entered into the world's first agreement on the implementation of climate protection activities, with Peru. This was closely followed by a similar agreement with Ghana. In February, Switzerland signed a Joint Statement with Senegal for a third such agreement.

Now, on 28 May, Switzerland has signed a Joint Statement with Thailand as the basis for a future climate protection agreement enabling Switzerland to offset carbon emissions through climate projects in Thailand. The signing of the Joint Statement in Bangkok coincided with the 90th anniversary of bilateral relations between Thailand and Switzerland.

The Joint Statement was signed via videoconference by Raweewan Bhuridej, General-Secretary of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), and Helene Budliger Artieda, the Swiss ambassador to Thailand. Also present was Varawut Silpa-archa, Thailand's minister for the environment. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, who attended the signing by videoconference, reiterated how important it is to have effective rules for climate projects abroad and pointed to the mutual economic benefits of jointly investing in pro-climate initiatives.

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