The Climate Change Performance Index 2024, which is based on the four categories of greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy, shows that Switzerland still has a lot to do when it comes to climate change.

Of the 63 countries analyzed, which together are responsible for more than 90 percent of global emissions, Switzerland ranks 21st, behind the EU-27 but also behind countries such as the Philippines, Morocco and Chile.

The change is already underway

It is inevitable that climate change will have a lasting impact on our lives and those of future generations. Since 1850, the average global temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius, mainly due to our greenhouse gas emissions. These are caused, among other things, by the burning of oil, natural gas, hard coal and lignite to generate electricity, thermal energy and fuels. The production of concrete, steel and various industrial products also contribute significantly to the increase in greenhouse emissions.

With the current social and political framework conditions, we must expect global warming of 2.6 to 2.9 degrees by the end of this century. This will drastically increase the likelihood of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and floods. Based on current trends, the Earth will warm by 1.5 degrees by 2030 – ten years earlier than predicted in 2018.

Countries in the South suffer particularly badly

Countries in the South are suffering particularly badly from the consequences of climate change: the increasingly frequent occurrence of extreme weather events, such as droughts and heavy rainfall, are making people’s living conditions considerably more difficult and are having a devastating impact on agriculture: agricultural production in Africa has fallen by 34% since 1961. Several million people in sub-Saharan countries have had to leave their homes as a result.

The climate is also going crazy in the Sahel, the poorest region of sub-Saharan Africa. Temperatures there are rising one and a half times faster than the global average, rainfall is unpredictable and the rainy seasons are getting shorter and shorter. The United Nations estimates that around 80 percent of the arable land in the Sahel is depleted.

The situation on site

SWISSAID is active in the Sahel region in Chad and Niger and therefore has access to information on the ground.

«Global warming is having a major impact on Chad. On the ground, this is manifesting itself in a dangerous, treacherous climate: the drought is spreading, the winds are stronger and the rains are short and heavy. This leads to flooding, damages houses and destroys the food grown. The fruit trees no longer bear enough fruit to meet the demand for nutrients.»

Diamnda Merci Memhodjim, SWISSAID project manager in Chad

The consequences are serious. The situation is particularly critical in rural areas. There is often only one meal a day. More and more often, people have to survive days without food. The women go without first and leave the food to the men and children. The people who live from livestock farming travel longer distances to get to areas where there is still food. A battle for land and water is raging there, people are dying or having to move further and further away.

TS 21901

«We absolutely must step up our efforts to limit the global temperature rise to below 1.5°. The entire planet is suffering from climate change.»

Diamnda Merci Memhodjim, SWISSAID project manager in Chad

Agroecology as part of the solution

Global warming is disrupting the rainy and dry seasons, causing extreme weather events and making it more difficult to grow urgently needed food. This is where agroecology comes into play: its approaches make it possible to close cycles and produce food more efficiently. An agroecological system is less dependent on external factors and more stable in the face of extreme events.

Agroecology against the climate crisis

Thanks to agroecology, farmers are less dependent on external factors and more resilient in the face of extreme climatic events. Your donations provide essential support to help people in the South adapt to climate change.

In contrast to organic farming, agroecology goes further. It is a comprehensive, multi-layered form of agriculture that incorporates social, scientific, economic and political aspects. Agroecology can fundamentally change our consumption, agricultural and food system.

SWISSAID has been using a sustainable approach in its work in project countries for years and is convinced that agroecology is an important piece of the puzzle in counteracting climate change and achieving the UN’s sustainability goals. It causes fewer emissions than conventional farming systems and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere in humus-rich soils.

The holistic approach of agroecology is based on13 principles, which SWISSAID also follows.