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Last update:03 Mar 2017

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy
  • Adopted
Action plans
  • Adopted

Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments

- National (screening NAS)
- Sectoral & Other (territorial)

  • Completed/Currently being undertaken
  • Assessment of climate-related risks and opportunities (webpage, de)
  • CH-2014 – Impacts
    (webpage, en)

Research programs

- National Programmes
- Key research initiatives (added value)

  • Completed
  • National research program Sustainable water management (NRP61) (webpage, en)
  • Project CCHydro: Climate change and hydrology (webpage, en)
  • Research programme forests and climate change (webpage, en)

Climate services / Met Office

- Observation
- Climate projections and services

  • Established
  • Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (webpage, en)
  • Swiss Climate Change Scenarios CH2011 (webpage, en)
  • National Center for Climate Services (webpage, en)
Web portal(s) / Adaptation platform(s)
  • Online
  • Information platform on adaptation to climate change (webpage, de)
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
  • Being developed
  • Monitoring and evaluation system (webpage, de)
Training and education resources
  • Being prepared
National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Last NatCom Submitted (2014)
  • 6th National Communication (webpage, en)

CO2 Act

The revised CO2 Act, which entered into force in 2013, provides the legal basis for adaptation. According to Article 8, the Swiss federation shall coordinate and provide the basis for adaptation measures. Coordinating body is the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). For the implementation of the legal mandate, the FOEN developed an adaptation strategy together with federal offices from other ministries.


National Adaptation Strategy

The adaptation strategy consists of two parts. The first part of the strategy, adopted by federal council in 2012, contains objectives and principles, a definition of fields of action and a description of cross sectoral challenges. The action plan 2014-2019 (2nd part of the strategy), adopted by federal council in 2014, includes 63 adaptation measures. The measures are implemented mainly in the frame of the different sectoral policies.

Part 1

 
Part 2

 
Adaptation in the cantons

The national adaptation strategy deals with adapting to climate change at federal level. Various options for action, however, also affect existing joint tasks carried out by the Confederation, cantons and municipalities as well as cantonal or communal tasks. In order to adapt to climate change in a coordinated and efficient manner, activities have to be coordinated at all institutional levels. Thus, in the coming years, the Confederation and the cantons are going to intensify their cooperation in adapting issues.

Overview cantonal adaptation strategies and reports:

Priority sectors and adaptation action in the sectors

The priority sectors are, according to the national adaptation strategy, water management, natural hazards prevention, forestry, agriculture, energy, biodiversity management, health, tourism and spatial development. Detailed information on policy instruments, measures and good practice examples in the different sectors can be found at:

 

Pilot programme

The "Pilot program adaptation to climate change" was set up by six federal offices under the leadership of FOEN as a national funding initiative to support cantons, regions and municipalities in tackling climate change related challenges. Between 2014 and 2016, funding is provided to 31 projects dealing with innovative adaptation approaches in five thematic fields: (1) management of local water scarcity, (2) management of natural hazards, (3) management of ecosystem and land use changes, (4) resilient urban development, and (5) knowledge transfer and governance. The projects spread over the whole country. The pilot program concludes in 2017 with a synthesis and dissemination phase.


Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation of climate change adaptation

With the adoption of the national action plan 2014-2019, the FOEN was mandated to report the progress made and the effectiveness achieved in adaptation to the Federal Council. On the basis of an impact model the following topics are evaluated on the federal level: (1) process of strategy development based on stakeholder interviews and group discussion; 2015), (2) progress of implementation based on survey with federal offices responsible for implementation of adaptation measures; 2015, 2017), (3) effectiveness in terms of outcomes and impacts (2016-2017).

 
The cantons are by law (revised CO2 act, Article 8) obliged to report to government on adaptation activities. The first reporting based on a survey took place in 2015.

The main objective of these evaluations is learning from experiences in order to further develop adaptation in Switzerland.

a. Observations and projections

Swiss Climate Change Scenarios CH2011

Regional climate change scenarios for Switzerland (CH2011 scenarios) have been available since September 2011. The CH2011 scenarios, elaborated by the Centre of Climate System Modelling (C2SM), are based on new generations of climate models with higher resolution, improved statistical methods, and an account of all recent relevant studies as well as the assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They were calculated for the A2, A1B and RCP3PD emission scenarios. The CH2011 scenarios provide a basis for new climate change impact studies.


The next generation of climate scenarios (CH2018) is planned for 2018.

 
b. Impacts & vulnerability assessments

Assessment of climate change related risks and opportunities

Switzerland is conducting a cross sectoral climate change risk assessment. For the assessment, a total of 8 cantonal case studies are conducted which cover all geo-morphological regions of the country (Swiss Plateau, Alps, Foothills of the Alps, Jura, Southern Switzerland and urban areas). The resulting cantonal risks and opportunities are then translated to the national level. Based on a set of predefined criteria, priority risks are determined for Switzerland. The risk assessment is complemented with a research project on adaptive capacity, and together, both studies will provide an important basis for further development of the adaptation strategy as well as for the prioritization of adaptation measures.

CH-2014 - Impacts

The CH2014-Impacts study presents the results of a concerted effort of 15 Swiss research institutions to describe impacts of climate change in Switzerland quantitatively. The initiative links the Swiss Climate Change Scenarios CH2011 with an evolving base of quantitative impact models. The intention was to provide a comprehensive report on quantified impacts along the full cascade of the implications of climate change in Switzerland; from the physical environment and ecosystems to socio-economic consequences.


Selected sectoral impact studies

 

a. Governance

The drafting and implementation process of the adaptation strategy is coordinated by the Interdepartmental Committee on Climate (IDA Climate). The following federal agencies are involved:

  • Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE)
  • Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP)
  • Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
  • Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)
  • Federal Office of Transport (FOT)
  • Federal Office of Energy (SFOE)
  • Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG)
  • Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO)
  • Federal Finance Administration (FFA)
  • Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss)
  • State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
     

The FOEN had the overall responsibility for developing the strategy. It moderated the procedure, ensured that a uniform approach was adopted and coordinated work between sectors. The individual federal offices were responsible for adaptation in their sectors. MeteoSwiss provided the climatological data on observed changes in the climate and future climate scenarios. In the current phase, FOEN coordinates the implementation process and generates required fundamental adaptation knowledge, while the federal offices apply their sector specific measures.

b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training

Research project on adaptive capacity
This study (2014-2016) aims to highlight the drivers and underlying causes (barriers) that support or hamper adaptation to climate change in Switzerland. In this project, key stakeholders (authorities, insurance companies, NGOs) are addressed with an extensive survey to provide their perception about potential adaptation barriers such as the lack of knowledge, motivation, technology, finance, as well as institutional and/or legal issues.

Dissemination
A web platform with information on adaptation in Switzerland was launched as after adoption of the national adaptation framework. The platform addresses administrative bodies and features relevant adaptation information, documents and studies on federal and cantonal level  (webpage, de; webpage, fr; webpage, it).

Roland Hohmann
Federal Office for the Environment
CH-3003 Berne
E-mail: roland.hohmann@bafu.admin.ch

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