Switzerland first to submit climate plan for Paris U.N. deal

by Reuters
Friday, 27 February 2015 17:37 GMT

Head of U.N. climate change secretariat looks forward to "many more ... in coming weeks and months"

By Alister Doyle

OSLO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Switzerland became the first nation on Friday to submit a plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020 as a basis for a U.N. deal to limit climate change due to be sealed in December.

Some other countries - including China, the United States and the 28-nation European Union - have outlined their domestic plans for slowing global warming beyond 2020 but have not yet formally handed details to the United Nations.

The Swiss government submission said it would cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, with at least 30 percent of the curbs at home and the rest by investing in carbon-cutting projects abroad.

The country has a long way to go. In 2012, Switzerland said its emissions were just 2.8 percent below 1990 levels.

Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat which will compile national plans, welcomed the Swiss submission and said she looked forward to "many more ... in coming weeks and months".

"Switzerland is today demonstrating leadership, commitment and its support towards a successful outcome in Paris in 10 months' time - it is the first but will not be the last," she said in a statement.

Countries have set an informal deadline of March 31 to hand in their plans to the U.N. Secretariat so they can be compiled before the Paris summit, which is meant to agree a global deal to curb downpours, heatwaves, desertification and rising seas.

Many nations are likely to miss the deadline.

In Geneva on Feb. 13, almost 200 countries agreed a draft negotiating text for the climate deal, but put off hard choices about narrowing down a vast range of options for limiting the rise in temperatures. (Reporting by Alister Doyle; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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