The revised Swiss CO2 Act represents a clear improvement and an opportunity to achieve the reduction targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. On 27 January 2021, the Council of Ministers supplemented its net-zero target for 2050, presented in 2019, through the “Long-term Climate Strategy for Switzerland”. The revised CO2 Act is of prime importance for the achievement of this strategy. While it is true that the measures set out in the CO2 Act are still not enough, it nevertheless needs to be initiated now so as not to lose any additional time with respect to climate protection, to establish this in law and to continue to increase ambitions starting from this position.
Stephen Neff, CEO of myclimate, is behind the CO2 Act: “This vote not only offers a great opportunity for the population to pledge its widespread support for the CO2 Act. An impressive “YES” to the CO2 Act at the ballot box would also be a clear vote for ambitious implementation and for additional climate protection efforts by business and society.”
Would you like to learn more about the CO2 Act? Read on below.
Would you like to pledge your vote and stay up to date about the ongoing voting campaign? Follow the campaign "Swiss Economy for the CO2 Act”.
Find out why an ambitious climate policy is so urgent today through the portrait series of the Climate Alliance. Click here!
What is the CO2 Act?
The CO₂ Act is an important climate protection tool for Switzerland. It sets the foundation for Swiss climate policy and establishes important steps on the path to becoming a climate-friendly nation. The Council of Ministers, the Council of States, the National Council and various organisations from the worlds of business, environmental protection and international aid are behind the Act.
How does the Act protect the climate?
The new CO2 Act is very extensive. It sets out important principles for sectors, such as the finance sector, that were not previously part of the Act and thus had no climate protection obligations. Here are some of the most important elements of the new Act:
- Climate-compatible building heating: From 2023 or 2026, emission thresholds will apply if heating systems are replaced. This will mean that new oil and gas heating systems will only be installed in exceptional cases.
- Gradual increase of CO2 tax and strengthening of building programme: To support the overhaul of buildings from an energy perspective, funding via government and cantonal building programmes is being expanded. This is being financed through the partial allocation of the steering tax on heating oil and natural gas to the climate fund.
- Flight ticket tax: Through the introduction of a steering tax on flight tickets that is based on distance travelled, the steady growth in flights is to be checked in a socially compatible way. Half of this is to be redistributed to the population, and the other half will flow into the new climate fund.
- Climate fund: As well as building renovation, the newly created fund aims, in particular, to promote the development and widespread use of new approaches and technologies, especially in the flight industry. The greenhouse gas emissions caused by Swiss consumption abroad now exceed emissions in Switzerland. The climate fund is intended to contribute to a reduction of the same magnitude.