[Calac+ in Chile] “Suizspacio Can tech save the world?”

The Minister of the Environment and the Swiss Ambassador to Chile inaugurate the Swiss Embassy and Metro exhibition on clean technologies. The exhibition is in the Suizspacio gallery in the Ñuñoa metro station.

©Swiss Embassy in Chile

The exhibition invites reflection on the role of technology in protecting the environment and combating climate change, showcasing concrete innovative solutions, both Swiss and Chilean, in areas such as water, de-carbonised transport and waste management.

The exhibition “Can tech save the world?” is a joint effort by the Santiago Metro service and the Swiss Embassy in Chile together with Chilean and Swiss stakeholders. The exhibition will be hosted from 27 January to 26 March by Suizspacio, the Swiss-Chilean cultural exchange platform at Ñuñoa station, and invite visitors to reflect on the role of technology in protecting the environment and combating climate change.

The Swiss Ambassador to Chile, Arno Wicki, says he is proud to be able to hold an exhibition on such a relevant topic in a place like Suizspacio. “Chile and Switzerland are facing fundamental ecological challenges. It is essential to have dialogue between the general public, authorities, civil society and the private sector to raise environmental awareness, and also to find innovative solutions. We are very happy to hold this exhibition together with Metro in Suizspacio, where we can raise awareness about environmental challenges and solutions.”  

The exhibition features a series of technological innovations, such as high-precision drones and fine particle filters installed in Santiago’s public transport, and a series of videos, texts and testimonies from well-known personalities on the subject of climate change. They all aim to answer the question of whether technology can really save the world, or whether the planet has already reached a point of no return. The exhibition is open to the public and is on display free of charge on level -3 of Ñuñoa station. Its title poses a question that visitors can answer interactively, sharing their answers through the social media of the Swiss Embassy and Suizspacio’s Instagram account (@suizspacio) using the hashtag #Swisstainability.

This exhibition is part of a long history of environmental cooperation between Switzerland and Chile. Over the past decade, Switzerland has supported programmes in Chile to improve air quality, water management and to mitigate the effects of climate change. Both countries also share information and actively cooperate at the international level to protect the environment and combat climate change.

©Swiss Embassy in Chile

The Environment Ministry is sponsoring this exhibition. The minister, Marcelo Fernández, highlighted that “Switzerland and Chile face similar climate challenges. Both countries have a long history of environmental cooperation on water management, reduction of air pollutants, and empowerment of children and young people in climate action. Technology can save the world, but not alone; it must go hand in hand with care for the environment and the benefits it brings to society. I am confident that Chile can learn from Switzerland through knowledge-sharing and scientific collaboration.”. 

Metro’s Customer and Sustainability Manager, Paulina del Campo, highlighted the cultural and knowledge management that the Swiss Embassy has been providing in Suizspacio at the Ñuñoa station and stressed the work in technology and sustainability of the Metro underground: “Since 2018, Metro is one of the subways in the world with the greatest clean energy, thanks to the incorporation of the supply provided by the El Pelícano solar plant, in the Coquimbo region, and the wind farm San Juan de Aceituno, in the Atacama. We have set ourselves the goal of neutralising all our carbon emissions by 2025, a major milestone that allows us to make a significant contribution, putting us at the global forefront among subways that aspire to be carbon neutral, and in turn we are contributing to Chile’s goal for changing our energy matrix”.

Marcelo Fernández, the Undersecretary of the Environment Ministry, which sponsors this exhibition, highlights that “Switzerland and Chile face similar climate challenges. Both countries have a long history of environmental cooperation on water management, reduction of air pollutants, and empowerment of children and youth on climate action. Technology can save the world, but not alone.  It must go hand in hand with care for the environment and the benefits it brings to society. I am sure that Chile can learn from Switzerland through knowledge-sharing and scientific collaboration.”

The Deputy Technical Director of the Sustainability and Climate Change Agency, Ambrosio Yobánolo, pointed out that “investment in innovation and clean technologies is key to tackling challenges such as the water crisis that Chile is facing, promoting sustainable development and increasing resilience to climate change. Undoubtedly, this activity for disseminating information about Switzerland and the Cleantech opportunities available to companies is a major contribution to initiatives such as the Blue Certificate, a voluntary agreement that we have promoted together with Fundación Chile to improve corporate water management.”

The exhibition will have several side events over the next two months that will address the five main themes of the exhibition: water, transport, energy, waste and biodiversity. The project is supported by the Ministry of Environment, the Agency for Sustainability and Climate Change (ASCC), the Chilean Agency for International Development Cooperation (AGCID) and several Swiss agencies. Details of the events will be provided through the Embassy’s social media platforms.

Climate and Clean Air Programme in Latin American Cities CALAC+

One of the initiatives between the Swiss state and Chile is the programme to strengthen the Environmental Prevention and Decontamination Plan of the Metropolitan Region (PPDA RM). The Ministry of the Environment, AGCID (Chilean Agency for International Development Cooperation) and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) have a cooperation agreement called “Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities (CALAC+). This programme aims to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants such as PM2.5 and hence black carbon emissions, which will also help mitigate climate change in the public transport and machinery sector.

The initiative, operated by SDC’s Global Climate Change and Environment Programme, pursues a vision of healthier cities that reduce their emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (such as black carbon), atmospheric gases and greenhouse gases (GHG) by promoting a shift towards soot-free, low-carbon city buses and off-road machinery. The CALAC+ programme has been running since 2018 in four Latin American cities: Lima, Bogota, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile, and will culminate in 2025.

CALAC+ promotes peer knowledge exchange and transfer in cities affected by atmospheric problems in Latin America. In Chile, it promotes the extension of electromobility to other cities in the country, conducts feasibility studies for green hydrogen bus fleets and supports the formulation of policies and standards for measuring particulate matter for vehicles that use filters. It also assists in the installation of particulate filters for machinery belonging to the Ministry of Public Works and advises on the verification processes of certificates and protocols for Chile’s machinery imports.

Source: Ministry of Environment – Chile

Useful links:
FS Climate and Clean Air Programme in Latin American Cities Calac+ Phase 2
Web Climate and Clean Air Programme in Latin American Cities Calac+ Phase 2
Instagram Suizspacio

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