European National Stakeholder Workshop Series: The case of Switzerland
The PARIS REINFORCE European stakeholder workshop series continued with Switzerland, on May 18, 2021. The Swiss Stakeholder Workshop discussed EU current policy and mitigation pathways while gaining insights from Swiss stakeholders for effective decarbonisation policies in the regional and national context. It was held virtually, involving stakeholders from the government, academia, industries, and NGOs in Switzerland. Prof. Philippe Thalmann from EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) moderated the event.
The workshop began with a brief overview presentation of the PARIS REINFORCE project, delivered by Prof. Haris Doukas of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) as the project coordinator. This opening session highlighted the core of the project and its objectives, mainly orienting on modelling work, the I2AM PARIS platform, as well as co-creation and transparency.
Next, modelling work completed or currently carried out for EU mitigation was presented by Dr. Baptiste Boitier from SEURECO (Société Européenne d'Economie). The presentation explored where current emissions and various socioeconomic indicators in the Union are headed, implied by its current policies projected forward to 2050. The feedback gained during the follow-up discussions substantiated the importance of the EU carbon budget for its long-term strategy, and the territorial concept to determine the future implementation of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Behavioral changes were discussed as equally critical to ensure EU climate neutrality as citizens’ actions are driven by perception.
The next session focused on understanding the range of new technologies and lifestyle changes contributing to an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Dr. Marc Vielle from EPFL presented the related issues of full decarbonisation in the light of Swiss Energy perspectives. Like other parts of the EU, the main challenges for deep decarbonisation in Switzerland remain transportation, buildings, and industries. The follow-up discussion underlined the vital role of synthetic and green fuels, the development of storage, and smart grids to intensify green energy electrification.
The workshop was concluded with an online poll with sli.do for gathering quantifiable stakeholder insights into the ambition of climate action and game-changing innovations for climate targets in the EU. Most stakeholders prioritised carbon capture and storage, e-mobility, expansion of renewables, and citizen behaviour, in achieving the ambitious net-zero target. The poll also showed the significance of expanding the EU ETS, implementing EU-wide carbon tax on the ESR with revenue return, and considering the implementation of a CBAM.