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Green Business Award Speaker 2021 Information
Advisory Board Story

Simonetta Sommaruga

Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC

Trained as a pianist, Simonetta Sommaruga worked as managing director of the Swiss Consumer Protection Foundation from 1993 to 1999 and was president of the foundation from 2000 to 2010. She served as a member of the communal council in Köniz between 1997 and 2005 with responsibility for the fire and civil protection services, and was a member of the National Council between 1999 and 2003. Between 2003 and 2010, she represented the canton of Bern in the Council of States. Simonetta Sommaruga sat on the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee and served as its chair between 2007 and 2009; she was also on the Social Security and Health Committee, and served as vice chair of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy Committee. She was also vice president of the Swiss Delegation to the EFTA Parliamentary Committee and for relations with the European Parliament. On 22 September 2010, Simonetta Sommaruga was elected to the Federal Council. She was head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police FDJP from 2010 to the end of 2018 and has been head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC since 1 January 2019. She served as President of the Swiss Confederation in 2015 and 2020.

keynote | German

Review
2021

KEY-TAKE-AWAYS

Switzerland lives on credit. In terms of environmental impact, it is at the top in various areas. We like to be first, but in this case that is not a compliment. We have to realise that we are living beyond our means.

Even if time has been lost due to the rejection of the CO2 law: For the Federal Council, climate protection is important and it wants to continue to achieve the climate targets. It does not want to be demoralised by the vote and believes that we can make up for lost time if we stick to it together.

If we want to advance the circular economy in Switzerland, we have to proceed in a targeted manner. The circular economy should be considered from the very beginning, and politics plays an important role in this. They must create reliable and conducive framework conditions. There is still a lot to do in this regard, but parliament is already working intensively on it.

We are all called upon to find solutions together. And that is the basic idea of the circular economy. The challenge here is that we agree. Everyone has their own ideas, which may be well-founded. But if we don't have a majority and get bogged down, we run the risk of ultimately having no solution.