At its meeting of 21/22 September 2022, the ETH Board decided to allocate CHF 10 million to additional climate measures in the ETH Domain. These will enable energy consumption and CO2 emissions to be reduced further. It also discussed Horizon Europe. The ETH Board deplores the fact that Switzerland continues to be a non-associated country. It regards association as advantageous whenever this can be achieved, but the sooner the better.
The ETH Domain can make a significant contribution to enabling Switzerland to meet the targets set out in the Climate Strategy 2050. It can do so both by offering teaching and research in areas such as energy, climate change, mobility and construction, and by making use of sustainable technologies and concepts itself.
ETH Board supports additional climate protection measures within the ETH Domain
The ETH Board is concerned about the impending energy shortage and its implications for education and research. Owing in part to their large-scale research infrastructure, the ETH Domain institutions have high energy requirements and depend on having a reliable energy supply. Thus they have already taken numerous steps to conserve energy. To further reduce these institutions’ own energy consumption, to produce more renewable energy and to cut CO2 emissions by a further approx. 4%, the ETH Board has decided to make CHF 10 million available for additional climate protection measures within the ETH Domain. The projects to be financed include, for example, a geothermal probe field at ETH Zurich, the installation of additional photovoltaic equipment at all six institutions of the ETH Domain, efficiency improvements at research facilities and the upgrading of buildings for increased energy efficiency.
Joint initiatives on Sustainability and on Dialogue with Society
At its meeting of 13/14 July 2022, the ETH Board approved joint initiatives of the ETH Domain institutions covering the strategic areas of “Energy, Climate and Environmental Sustainability” and “Engagement and Dialogue with Society”. The aim of the joint initiatives is to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the ETH Domain even further and find ways of tackling some of the most important global challenges of our time. The ETH Board is contributing CHF 40 million of the CHF 80 million being invested at the two Federal Institutes of Technology and the four research institutes. The projects will be carried out between 2023 and 2025. Click here for a full list of projects.
Horizon Europe: ETH Board regards association as advantageous whenever it can be achieved
Switzerland is still non-associated with Horizon Europe. This is steadily undermining the appeal of the Swiss ERI sector, which is seeing its international networks deteriorate; it is also likely to suffer financially. The ETH Board deplores the fact that Switzerland and the EU have still not found a solution. It regards association with Horizon Europe as advantageous whenever this can be achieved – whether in 2022 or at some point in the future. Even after this year, calls for proposals for prestigious ERC grants will continue to take place, new projects will be launched, and Switzerland could still play a part in shaping the successor programme. The sooner association is achieved, the better for research in Switzerland.