How environmentally friendly a company is on paper too often depends on its location or on the method used to assess it. Sustainable investing is challenging due to a lack of standardized methods and comparable data. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting – a set of rules to account for a corporation’s GHG emissions – could make sustainable investing more transparent. It enables investors to decide on the basis of a quantitative metric. Current private and national approaches in GHG accounting are only of limited use to investors because these initiatives are in most cases voluntary, limited to a single country, or applicable to specific economic sectors only. This paper proposes that Switzerland should promote transparent, sustainable investing
internationally through a multi-stakeholder coalition called Swiss Connection for Climate Accountability SCCA. The SCCA has two goals: First, for the international community to request a report from the IPCC on the potential for a global GHG accounting standard.
Second, to adapt existing GHG accounting methods for use as top-down standards to provide to the Swiss and European market independent, accessible information on corporate environmental performances. This approach gives the opportunity to require GHG emissions disclosure on the basis of a recognised, uniform standard. It has the potential to bring GHG accounting in line with financial accounting, and it would provide a basis for increased innovation and academic education.
As ice caps are melting, the Arctic receives unprecedented attention from states in the region and from other major powers. Trade routes for international shipping and some of the Arctic’s vast resources are becoming more accessible. Increased interests and activity in the Arctic bear opportunities and risks in two main areas: environmental and security. Even though the Arctic appears far off, both are also of concern to Switzerland.
The proposed “Swiss Vision for the Arctic” imagines the kind of Arctic Switzerland would like to see and to which it could and should contribute. Based on a Swiss interest to mitigate climate change and environmental hazards, this vision highlights that commercial activities and regional development in the Arctic need to be pursued in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to the benefit of the local population. As Switzerland’s security and prosperity depend on a functioning European and international order, the vision foresees a peaceful resolution of disputes through legal mechanisms, transparency about security perceptions, and a limitation of military activities, guided by the principle of human security.