Media response

What the EU forced labor regulation means for Swiss companies

The European Parliament has adopted two new laws to rein in companies for human rights abuses in global supply chains. One of them is the EU forced labour law banning products from EU export and import if they are made with forced labour. “This will have a notable impact on Swiss companies”, says CDE researcher Gabi Sonderegger. “Swiss companies will need to take proactive steps to ensure compliance to avoid facing these repercussions and maintain their access to the EU market.”
Date: 25 April 2024 | Source: swissinfo

Inequality: Assets in Switzerland are becoming increasingly concentrated

Inequality in Switzerland is particularly evident in terms of assets. CDE Director Sabin Bieri says: "Switzerland has one of the highest levels of asset inequality in the world. If we want to create equal opportunities, we need to think about new channels of redistribution." She would like to see a debate on forward-looking alternatives. Because when it comes to inequality, Switzerland still has room for improvement in other areas too – for example in basic public services such as education: "Switzerland is not realising its potential when you see that it is mainly the children of academics who study at universities."
Date: 1 March 2024 | Source: watson (in German)

EU bans deforestation – Swiss companies are under pressure

From 2025, Swiss exporters to the EU will have to prove that their products are not linked to deforestation. According to the Federal Council, Swiss exports worth around CHF 4 billion are affected by the EU's deforestation regulation. "If the Federal Council does not clarify exactly what companies have to do, it will be difficult. The sectors can provide guidelines. But this does not carry the same weight as a separate system that is equivalent to the EU system," says Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi from the CDE.
Date: 15 February 2024 | Source: SRF news (in German)

Shorter working week: "Companies and society benefit"

The change to a shorter working week is always a challenge for companies that requires courage and can of course also incur costs, says CDE researcher Stephanie Moser: "An overall cost calculation is necessary: if implemented correctly, a shortened working week with full pay compensation leads to less stress and employees are sick less often. Both the company and society as a whole can benefit from this."
Date: 30 January 2024 | Source: Plattform J (in German)

Short supply chains: more and more food is ending up directly in customers' homes thanks to direct marketing

Oranges straight from the tree – that sounds romantic, but is it also sustainable? "Crowdfarming and similar platforms are not the solution to all problems in the food system. But the more relevant they become and the less dependent farmers are on bulk buyers, the more pressure they can exert on the conventional, dominant market to create more transparency", says CDE researcher Bettina Scharrer in response to the question of how realistic it is for such direct marketing concepts to emerge from their niche.
Date: 21 December 2023 | Source: ZEIT Magazin (Paywall, in German)

"The private sector can and must play a responsible role as a driver of development"

Cordula Ott was a research scientist at CDE from 1992 to 1 December 2023. In an interview on her work, she says: "CDE has always conducted research together with local people with the aim of promoting their self-determined development within a global framework."
Date: 7 December 2023 | Source: Vaterland (Paywall, in German)

"We live on credit in the West, threefold"

Sustainability scientist Sabin Bieri from CDE researches inequality - and calls for more courage to create utopias. In an interview she says: "Inequality didn't fall from the sky, it's a political choice."
Date: 5 December 2023 | Source: Berner Zeitung (Paywall, in German)

Do you speak climate?

Crisis, collapse, catastrophe: the language around climate is becoming alarmist. CDE scientist Hugo Caviola on the use of linguistic terms in times of crisis and what they can trigger in our thinking (in German).
Date: 26 November 2023 | Source: NZZ am Sonntag

Swiss government funds land management project

The Swiss government has agreed to fund a landmark project worth US$ 4.5 million to promote sustainable land management and investments for climate-resilient livelihoods. The project will be executed by Switzerland’s Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, in collaboration with the Lao government. The project’s mission is to assist the Lao government in enhancing land management, advocating for quality investments in sustainable land management, and strengthening knowledge, capacities and processes for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities.
Date: 10 November 2023 | Source: Vientiane Times

When you suddenly have to move away for years

CDE researcher Astrid Wallner is investigating what the people living in Mitholz are going through when the former ammunition depot is cleared - also with a view to future resettlements. "Technically and legally, you can plan a lot in advance, but you absolutely have to involve people as individuals," she says. From this she derives a first recommendation: "Passing in person is an indispensable step."
Date: 9 September 2023 | Source: Berner Oberländer (Paywall)

"The way we produce fodder and meat is absurd"

"When you buy organic products, you will pay more than for cheap and poorly produced goods. This must change," says Theresa Tribaldos, researcher at CDE in an interview. "Sustainable products should be cheaper because they bring many benefits to society. Also, from a justice perspective, it is wrong that poorer people can only afford the poorer, unhealthy foods."
Date: 7 September 2023 | Source: Handelszeitung

Foreign countries sanction, Switzerland looks away

International criticism of Swiss sanctions against Russia is not abating. Asked about the role of the Swiss commodity trading place, CDE researcher Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi says that in terms of importance, Switzerland is more comparable to the USA than the EU. “Switzerland should analyse to what extent the US sanctions also affect commodity trade and, if necessary, adopt these measures. The mere focus on the EU is not enough.”
Date: 6 July.2023  | Source: Republik

Why we should talk differently about transportation

CDE scientist Hugo Caviola talks to Marija Bakker about how language influences our perception, thinking and actions about mobility. And why it is problematic when we linguistically make the car the norm (in German).
Date: 27 June.2023  | Source: Science broadcast Quarks, WDR

Alternative energy production is putting pressure on the forest

The expansion of renewable energies also has its downsides: According to a new study by ETH Zurich and the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, more forest could be cleared because sustainable energy production requires more space than fossil or nuclear power plants.
Date: 4 May.2023  | Source: SRF News

"The term 'flight shame' can make a difference"

Hugo Caviola examines our everyday language (German) in the project Can words like "flight shame", "ecological footprint" or "animal suffering" lead to more sustainable actions? Caviola says: yes.
Date: 4 April.2023  | Source: Wir sind Zukunft

Social transformation with sustainability innovations

Sustainability initiatives in civil society make an important contribution to the transformation into a sustainable society. According to a blog post by Stephanie Moser and Christoph Bader, they do this by testing new ideas and thus providing alternatives to current patterns of consumption and production, .
Date: 31.3.2023  | Source: One Planet Lab

High quality of life is also achievable without high resource consumption

In Switzerland and in some other countries with high average incomes, not only is the quality of life high, but so is the consumption of natural resources. However, a good life does not necessarily depend on this. According to Thea Wiesli and Thomas Hammer of CDE, intangible factors such as family and friendships, participation in social life, belonging and meaningful work are of fundamental importance.
Date: 10.1.2023  | Source: Carte blanche, scnat

Live better with less energy

Sufficiency means recognising that more is not always better. That actually makes sense to almost everyone. Nevertheless, sufficiency has a hard time in politics. This has to do with misunderstandings - and with tangible interests. CDE scientist Stephanie Moser says: The way one heats, whether one takes a shower or a bath, or rides a bicycle are individual decisions. But every decision is made under certain conditions. And these framework conditions can make sufficiency easier or more difficult. Policymakers must start here and reduce barriers to sufficiency.
Date: December.2022 | Source: Energie und Umwelt

"Biodiversity is essential for human survival"

At the beginning of the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15, Prof. Julie G. Zähringer says what is at stake: "Biodiversity provides us food, clean air, clean water, medicines and thus makes a very important contribution to the economy." That is the very reason why biodiversity is indispensable for the survival of humankind. With regard to the "30by30 Initiative", which aims to protect 30 per cent of the earth's surface, she emphasises that it is essential to involve the local and indigenous peoples.
Date: 5.11.2022 | Source: 10vor10 SRF (from 6:33 onwards)

"We are about to destroy our livelihoods"

In view of the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15, Julie Zähringer, Professor of Land Systems and Sustainability, emphasises the urgency of acting consistently. In an interview, she tells us what needs to be done - especially in Switzerland.
Date: 18.11.2022 | Source: Migros Magazin

What effects does the war against Ukraine have on food trade?

"The poor developing countries, which are highly dependent on grain imports from abroad, will feel this the most," said CDE scientist Markus Giger. Countries like Somalia are already affected by acute drought, he said. "There, too, it is much more difficult for the World Food Programme to organise deliveries at all in the short term."
Date: 21.3.2022 | Source: TeleBärn

Secret billion-dollar deals: Swiss commodity trade fills Putin's war chest

"The whole commodity trade is under-reported and under-regulated," says CDE scientist Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi. "You have to gather data quite a bit, and not all information is available." Who buys what commodities from whom at what prices, therefore, remains in the dark.
Date: 17.3.2022 | Source: Deutsche Welle

Switzerland joined in sanctions, but Russia’s oil, metals and grains still trade there

“At the moment, the cards are being reshuffled,” said Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi, commodities trading expert at CDE about Russia’s commodity trading via Switzerland.
Date: 7.3.2022 | Source: The New York Times

Land acquisitions as a pandemic risk

How are land deals related to biodiversity hotspots - and what does that mean? CDE expert Markus Giger explains these questions in an interview.
Date: 27.2.2022 | Source: NZZ Magazin Onehealthstory (Kapitel 5)

For Russia, Switzerland is indispensable as a commodity trading place

"As a commodity trading place, Switzerland is very important for the export economy of countries like Russia," says CDE scientist Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi. If the Federal Council wanted to harm Russia economically with sanctions, it would be obvious to make it more difficult for Russian companies to trade in raw materials through Switzerland. However, commodity trading is currently not affected by the sanction measures adopted or commissioned by the Federal Council.
Date: 25.2.2022 | Source: AargauerZeitung

No silver-bullet solutions for saving used planet

"We live on this used planet where all the land that's even considered unused or untouched is providing really important benefits to people," said CDE researcher Ariane de Bremond on a policy paper, published in the journal PNAS. The paper sets out why land matters in a host of problems facing humanity and calls on decision makers and stakeholders to do more to address misconceptions over land use and sustainability.
Date: 8.2.2022 | Source: BBC News

Plastic waste – bad or overestimated?

CDE researcher Stephanie Moser explains how the momentum for big changes can develop from many small steps and from the proactive ideas of individual pioneers. The key words are electromobility and the zero-waste movement.
Date: 24.12.2021  | Source: Radio SRF

"Land deals are a risk factor for pandemics"

Large-scale land deals in the agricultural sector continue to destroy rainforests and natural habitats: this is the conclusion of the latest report by the Land Matrix Initiative. The independent network also warns of a post-Covid boom - and an increasing risk of further pandemics. An interview with Markus Giger from the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), one of the main authors of the report.
Date: 28.9.2021 | Source: Deutsches Gesundheits-Portal

Impacts of European energy policy on global biodiversity

In this podcast CDE researcher Henri Rueff speaks about the importance of the impacts of EU renewable policy on biodiversity, ecosystem services and Sustainable Development Goals.
Date: September 2021 | Source: Eklipse Podcasts

Scepticism is growing in Mercosur

The trade agreement between Mercosur and the EFTA states promises advantages for Switzerland, but also problems for the South American countries. CDE researchers Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi and Theresa Tribaldos note that EFTA and Mercosur deserve credit for including a sustainability clause in the agreement. But its effectiveness is limited because the tariff concessions do not distinguish between sustainable and other production.
Date: 28.06.2021 | Source: swissinfo

Klagen fürs Klima

«Wir haben uns völkerrechtlich an das Pariser Abkommen und die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention gebunden. Junge Klimaaktivisten könnten zuerst in der Schweiz klagen und dann weiter nach Strassburg ziehen. Dort könnten sie versuchen, die Handlungspflicht des Staates herbeizuführen, wenn es die Regierung nicht von selbst macht», sagt Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi über die Möglichkeit, in der Schweiz Klimaklagen einzureichen.
Date: 03.05.2021 | Source: Sonntagsblick

Vom fetten Braten zur Extrawurst: Wie sich das Fleischessen in unserer Sprache bemerkbar macht

Es fällt uns meistens nicht auf, aber: Fleischmetaphern besetzen nahezu alle Bereiche der Wirklichkeit. Wir suchen uns jeweils das Filetstück aus, auch wenn es nicht um Fleisch geht, schreibt,  Hugo Caviola, Leiter des Forschungsprojekts in einem Gastkommentar.
Date 9.4.2021 | Source: NZZ

The future of food and nutrition: Are we all becoming farmers?

"The internalisation of ecological costs - e.g. when biodiversity is damaged - would be a concrete and very important lever for more sustainable production" said CDE scientists Stephanie Moser and Bettina Scharrer on agriculture, the food system and consumer responsibility. (from 21:27 onwards).
Date 17.3.2021 | Source: Kontext, SRF Kultur

«Der Palmöl-Ansatz könnte eine Dynamik auslösen»

Nach der Abstimmung über das Handelsabkommen mit Indonesien sagt Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi: Die Verknüpfung von Nachhaltigkeit und Zollreduktion beim Palmöl sei ein Meilenstein. Jetzt müsse der Fokus auf der Umsetzung liegen: «Es ist wichtig, die Idee nicht zu verspielen.»
Date 9.3.2021 | Source: AargauerZeitung

"Der Bundesrat macht es sich zu einfach"

Kann mehr Welthandel ökologisch sein? Ja, sagt Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi, Expertin für Nachhaltigkeit und Handel am CDE. Ein Interview über den umstrittenen Vertrag mit Indonesien und die Kraft einer Fussnote.
Date: 9.2.2021 | Source: NZZ

Climate debate: The potential is lying fallow

To make climate policy effective, new, gender-specific and broader social perspectives are needed from the very beginning, in addition to traditional technical solutions, writes CDE Director Sabin Bieri.
Date: 27.1.2021 | Source: ProClim Flash

Streit um Palmöl: Vertrag mit Indonesien betritt Neuland

"Im Rahmen der Entwicklungsfinanzierung und zusammen mit Indonesien sowie den betroffenen Leuten können die EFTA-Länder die Umstellungsprozesse auf nachhaltige Anbausysteme anstossen und begleiten. Solche Mittel wurden im Abkommen zwar in Aussicht gestellt, bislang aber noch nicht beziffert", sagt CDE-Handelsexpertin Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi im Interview.
Date: 14.1.2021 | Source: infosperber

Indonesien-Abkommen: gute Idee aber noch oberflächlich

Zollsenkungen mit der Einhaltung von Nachhaltigkeitskriterien im Handelsabkommen mit Indonesien zu verknüpfen, sei eine gute Idee, aber die Sache stehe und falle mit der Umsetzung. Diese sei im Verordnungsentwurf auf den ersten Blick oberflächlich: CDE-Wissenschaftlerin Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi.
Date: 19.12.2020 | Source: NZZ

Mercosur: lückenhafte Wirkungsanalysen

Nach Abschluss der Verhandlungen zum Freihandelsabkommen mit den Mercosur-Staaten hat das SECO eine Wirkungsanalyse zu ausgewählten Umweltfragen in Auftrag gegeben. Die Bereiche «Soziales und Menschenrechte» wurden ausgeklammert. Interview mit Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi.
Date: 9.12.2020 | Source: global (DE), Le Temps Blog (FR)


Wie definieren und messen wir Wohlstand aktuell, und warum brauchen wir hier andere Konzepte? Wie steht es um unseren Zeitwohlstand, und wie können wir ihn vermehren? Welche wirtschaftlichen, sozialen und ökologischen Vorteile hätte eine Reduktion unserer Arbeitszeit, und wie liesse sie sich politisch erreichen? Die beiden CDE-Forschenden Stephanie Moser und Christoph Bader im Podcast-Interview.
Date: 9.12.2020 | Source: Scientists for Future Podcast

"Free day for future" instead of "Business as usual"

Can a general reduction in working hours lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions, greater life satisfaction and a functioning economy? A CDE research team presents first results on this. (pp. 27-28)
Date: 5.11.2020 | Source: Denknetz

"Extreme wealth must be reduced"

CDE Director Sabin Bieri on "Planet Hope" in Bern: "Hope gives rise to the ability to act. If you only emphasise the crisis view, it often triggers powerlessness." Climate change is certainly a central issue, but not the only one, she said. " Sustainable development is not possible without justice."
Date: 29.10.2020 | Source: Berner Zeitung

Sustainability – Can aviation contribute to solutions?

“Trade-offs can not be avoided in the Agenda 2030. Therefore, the process of designing a sustainable development pathway needs to integrate these trade-offs into the negotiations that are required to reach a compromise on how to achieve sustainability”, says CDE researcher Albrecht Ehrensperger in an interview.    
Date: 11.10.2020 | Source: ID Podcast Swiss FOCA 

Vanilla in Madagascar

Interview with CDE researcher Julie Zähringer on the vanilla boom in Madagascar.    
Date: 11.9.2020 | Source: The Sweaty PenguinPodcast (from 24:10 onwards)

Global database gathers knowledge

To mark World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the UN drew attention to the desertification of fertile land. Under the leadership of CDE, the WOCAT database project collects, evaluates and documents successful examples of sustainable land use. More than 2000 examples from all five continents are now listed.
Date: 21.6.2020 | Source: SRF News

The land factor decides on inequality

Land grabbing exacerbates the inequality of particularly vulnerable groups. It deprives them of their economic base, says CDE Director Sabin Bieri, in an article on business and human rights.
Date: April 2020 | Source: Welternährung

The virus has made it clear: the future is now

Accelerated by a virus, we have suddenly found ourselves in a possible future. In this context, the Agenda 2030 provides us with a compass. Article by CDE directors Sabin Bieri, Thomas Breu, Andreas Heinimann, and Peter Messerli
Date: 24.4.2020 | Source: Corona Sustainability Compass

Nature conservation must become more just

Symptom fighting in nature conservation is not enough. In an interview, CDE scientist Julie Zähringer points out that the demand for more protected areas often comes from the rich industrialised countries, but the poor developing countries have to implement it.
Date: April 2020 | Source: Die Flugbegleiter

Economic growth is not a panacea

Economic development is central to successful development cooperation. But only if it does not degenerate into an end in itself. CDE Directors Thomas Breu and Sabin Bieri on the lessons that can be learned from the example of Laos.
Date: 21.4.2020 | Source: Die Volkswirtschaft

There is a need for focus on land and local perspectives

In Myanmar, too, the promise of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative is: development thanks to trade and the accelerated construction of infrastructure. But land rights, biodiversity and culture are at stake, according to CDE researchers Christoph Oberlack, Andreas Heinimann and Athong Makury.
Date: 23.3.2020 | Source: global