What's the connection between developing building codes and Switzerland's development cooperation work?
Climate change is a global phenomenon that affects us all. Most building today is taking place in emerging countries. So if these houses can be built in line with energy efficiency building codes, that's a significant contribution to limiting climate change – which, ultimately, affects the poorest people the most. In an increasingly warmer world, having homes with comfortable room temperatures and, therefore, lower electricity costs will also benefit poorer sections of the population directly.
The SDC is making every effort to share its experiences with emerging countries. It supports the IEA's Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies Programme – which operates in six emerging countries (Mexico, Brazil, China, South Africa, India and Indonesia) – where it has already provided insights from the project in India.
How did the cooperation between Switzerland and India function in this project? What was Switzerland able to contribute?
Switzerland has been active in India for 70 years and has been supporting energy efficiency projects since the 1990s. So a lot of the cooperation was based on that – a long-standing working relationship and mutual trust.
Switzerland also has an excellent reputation in India. It stands for cleanliness, precision and efficiency. And Switzerland has a great deal of experience in energy-efficient construction. Before the first building codes were issued almost 40 years ago, the average building in Switzerland used to get through 20 litres of heating oil per square metre. Today, energy-smart renovated buildings only need six litres and brand new buildings only need four.