On June 13, the Swiss people will vote on the new CO2 Act. The legislation provides for a halving of CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. In addition, Switzerland is pursuing the goal of being climate-neutral by 2050. To achieve this, 75 percent of the reduction measures are to be realized domestically. A whole bundle of measures is to be taken under the new law, some of which are:

  • A climate fund, which is to be fed primarily by the partial allocation of the CO2 levy on fuels and half of the revenue from the air ticket levy.
  • New fossil-fuel heating systems may only be installed in well-insulated buildings from 2023 or 2026. Subsidy and leasing programs will relieve homeowners of the often higher purchase and conversion costs of the systems. From 2023, new buildings will no longer be allowed to emit CO2. A CO2 limit of 20 kg per square meter of heated living space will then apply to existing buildings.
  • Fuel importers will offset the CO2 emissions from the remaining consumption of diesel and gasoline up to 90 percent with climate protection projects in Switzerland and abroad.

The CO2 Act is the most important Swiss instrument for implementing climate protection. As the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2020, the Paris Climate Agreement’s terms now apply. Switzerland ratified the Paris Agreement in 2017 and made an international commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The new law aims to ensure the national implementation of this commitment and will come into force on January 1, 2022.

Within the Swiss outdoor industry, the commitment to climate protection has been visible for some time. Despite their rather small size, Swiss outdoor companies are relatively active along the entire value chain. To name just a few: Bag manufacturer Freitag has been a pioneer of upcycling since its founding in 1993, Exped has just announced that its sleeping mat range is completely CO2-neutral, and Odlo has just been named best newcomer champion in sustainability by fiber manufacturer Unifi for its increasing use of recycled fibers.

Photo: © Janosch Diggelmann on Unsplash