What is a CO₂ budget?

The term CO₂ budget is intended to illustrate how much CO₂ we are allowed to create individually through our lifestyles if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 °C. By ratifying the Paris Agreement, Switzerland has set itself the goal of reducing its emissions to zero net, by 2100 at the latest, and limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. This means that each person in Switzerland must emit less than 0.6 tonnes of CO₂ per annum until 2100.

This figure was calculated by researchers from the University of Geneva on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in 2015 and based on the total Swiss budget for CO₂. This was then equally divided among all Swiss residents up until 2100.

Since this budget has already been exceeded for several years, this means that the CO₂ budget for the future is effectively even lower. Basically this means: The later the target of net zero emissions is reached, the higher the negative emissions will need to be later (see: What does “zero net emission” mean?).

The budget approach shows how the financing of climate protection projects acts as a bridging technology: When you calculate the emissions generated by a flight and support climate protection projects on the basis of these calculations, these emissions do not disappear, rather emissions are prevented to an equal extent elsewhere. The tally remains balanced, as does the budget.

Source: Dao, et al. (2015)


You can find further exciting information on the subject of climate change and climate protection in our climate booklet

Calculate your CO2 emissions and support effective climate protection.

Support now

Stay informed!