Introduction: Joachim Masur, Chief Executive Officer Zurich Switzerland
The COP23 Climate Change Conference in Bonn made small steps towards implementing the conditions of the Paris Climate Agreement. As the current climate objectives of the Paris Agreement are not sufficient for limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, it was decided already in Paris that over time, the individual nations would have to step up their efforts. This also holds true for Switzerland. If we assume that global warming will continue, then climate change adaptation takes on an increasingly important role. We can drive adaptation more directly by reacting to the challenges that the effects of climate change pose. We can thereby limit the risks and seize the opportunities.
The Zurich Climate Prize has honoured pioneering projects and implementations which contribute to protecting our climate. Ithelped provide an incentive for companies, institutions and startups to come up with with new ideas to reduce CO2 emissions. The prize money helped the winners to pursue, test and implement innovations. Today, Switzerland has a sound awareness for climate protection and is well set up to face the challenges.
As the saying goes, it’s best to quit while you’re ahead. In this spirit, we have reached a crossroads: Zurich Switzerland will not call for climate projects in 2018 and will enhance its focus on the unique Zurich Natural Hazard Radar which promotes public awareness on climate-induced risks and how best to deal with them. We will invest in an expansion of the tool with additional perils such as storm, hail and earthquake, as well as the risk posed by radon.
Why is this important? New research shows that the average temperature on earth will increase more quickly and intensely than previously anticipated. What will be the repercussions? More storms, floods and mudslides – in other words, more extreme weather. The buzzword on everyone’s lips these days is «smart protection». The better prepared we are, the less damage we will sustain. By investing in the Natural Hazard Radar, Zurich helps Swiss citizens adapt to the changing climate.
With a few clicks, the free online tool allows you to understand which natural hazards threat your home or your company and what protective measures you can take to protect it. Most of the time, simple constructions will suffice to avoid a lot of damage.
You will find more information about our plans in this magazine. And we also bring you portraits of a few climate prize winners – see for yourself how they got on and where they stand today. And of course, find out about recent developments in climate protection.
I wish you an interesting read.