Der Klima-Aktionsplan enthält sehr unterschiedliche politische Instrumente: Subventionen, Richtlinien, Verbote, Investitionen, Handelssysteme, Abgaben, Quoten, Informationskampagnen und Bildung. Verbote und Regulierungen werden im Vergleich zu anderen Massnahmen oft viel kritischer aufgenommen und Politiker*innen scheuen sich meist, sie vorzuschlagen oder einzufordern. Deshalb möchten wir hier kurz erklären, warum wir Verbote sowohl für gerechtfertigt wie auch notwendig halten und keineswegs als eine Einschränkung der Freiheit sehen.
Wahre Freiheit bedeutet nicht, dass man einfach tun kann, was man will, sondern dass man in seinem Handeln frei ist, solange man dadurch nicht die Freiheit eines anderen einschränkt. Oder bildlich dargestellt: Die Freiheit, die eigene Faust zu schwingen, hört dort auf, wo die Nase eines anderen Menschen beginnt. Unser persönliches Recht auf Freiheit garantiert keine Freiheit auf Kosten anderer.
Aufgrund der Klimakrise werden Hunderte von Millionen Menschen ihr Zuhause verlieren und zur Flucht gezwungen sein. Wasserknappheit und Ressourcenkriege drohen. Bis zum Ende des Jahrhunderts werden jedes Jahr Millionen von Menschen aufgrund der höheren Temperaturen ihr Leben verlieren. Der Anspruch auf die Freiheit, sich ein grosses, schweres Auto zu kaufen, muss also erstmals hintenangestellt werden. Etwas nicht zu verbieten, das die Freiheit vieler so dermassen einschränkt, ist nicht liberal. Es ist auch verboten, mit 150 km/h über eine Dorfstrasse zu fahren, weil dies eine unnötige Gefahr für Menschenleben darstellt. Es ist selbstverständlich, dass Rechte mit Pflichten einhergehen. Um das Recht auf Leben zu gewährleisten, sind wir verpflichtet, es nicht zu gefährden.
Unser Alltag ist geprägt von unzähligen Regelungen, die ein funktionierendes Zusammenleben überhaupt erst ermöglichen. Ohne sie würde unsere Gesellschaft zusammenbrechen. Die Klimakatastrophe birgt die Gefahr, genau zu einem solchen Zusammenbruch zu führen. Deshalb müssen fossile Brennstoffe und fossile Infrastruktur verboten werden.
Hätten die Politiker*innen vor 30 Jahren auf die Wissenschaft gehört, hätte eine katastrophale Erwärmung von mehr als 1.5 °C vielleicht mit weniger drastischen Massnahmen vermieden werden können. Aber heute ist es für eine sanfte und graduelle Dekarbonisierung schlichtweg zu spät. Ausserdem sind Verbote auch ehrlicher als andere Massnahmen, weil sie das notwendige Ende des fossilen Zeitalters in Gesetzesparagraphen für alle gültig niederschreiben. Sie sprechen eine klare Sprache: Null Emissionen, nicht nur weniger Emissionen.
Kapitel 1: Sektorenübergreifende Massnahmen
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 1.1 : Moratorium auf neue Infrastruktur bis 2030
Von 2021 bis 2030 können keine neuen konventionellen Gebäude und keine neue Verkehrsinfrastruktur gebaut werden. Planung- und Baugenehmigungen beschränken sich auf die Nachrüstung und Renovierung bestehender Infrastruktur und Gebäude. Ausnahmen können vorgesehen werden für: Infrastruktur, die netto positiv ist (reduziert mehr Treibhausgase, als sie bei der Produktion ausstösst), die erneuerbare Energie erzeugt (z.B. Windturbinen), zur Dekarbonisierung des Mobilitätssektors beiträgt (z.B. Fahrradwege), wichtige neue Technologien für den Wandel produziert (z.B. Batterien) oder dringend benötigte öffentliche Infrastruktur darstellt (z.B. Schulen).
To achieve full decarbonization within 10 years in the building and industry sectors, demand levels have to decrease significantly from current levels. This applies in particular to cement and steel production, where there are currently no scalable net-zero emissions solutions available but holds true for other materials as well.
A moratorium on new infrastructure (buildings and roads) has two main goals:
- significantly reduce demand for high-emission materials and
- ensure a large enough workforce for retrofits in the building sector. This becomes feasible when at least a significant part of the workforce currently employed in new construction becomes temporarily available for renovations and retrofits.
Under such a moratorium, no new conventional buildings and no new transport infrastructure would be built from 2021 to 2030. Planning and construction permits would be limited to retrofitting and renovating existing infrastructure and buildings. Exceptions could be made for:
- Infrastructure that is net positive (i.e. it reduces and stores more greenhouse gases than it emits during production, use and demolition).
- Infrastructure to produce renewable energy, such as PV power plants and wind turbines.
- Infrastructure to help decarbonize the mobility sector such as bike lanes and public transport infrastructure.
- New production facilities for vital new technologies needed for the transformation, such as batteries, new types of renewable plastics or catalytic elements to be used for the substitution of fossil fuels.
- Other exceptions may include urgently needed public infrastructure (e.g. schools, hospitals)
The moratorium itself will reduce public and private spending and would not need any additional finance. The focus on retrofitting and renovation will require training of additional experts and workers (see Buildings, Policy 8).
Today, about CHF.- 28 billion are spent annually on new buildings and only about CHF 12 billion for retrofitting and renovation (Guerra Fabio and Schläpfer, EnDK, EnAW-Fachtagung 5.11.2019) Ideally a significant part of the CHF.- 28 billion would become partially available for renovations and retrofits.
This policy would lead to substantially more renovations and retrofitting. This would help reduce emissions in the building sector. It would also reduce the demand for steel and cement and therefore reduce emissions in the industry sector. The mitigation effect would likely be several million tonnes of CO2eq each year.
Jobs: To prevent an unemployment crisis, workers in affected jobs need to be re-trained for retrofitting, renovating and other jobs needed for the transition to net-zero. For this, a government program should be created.
Roads: Many new road projects are currently in the planning or early implementation phase but most of them will not be completed by 2030. Therefore, increases in traffic jam hours per year will not change much by 2030 with or without moratorium. Bottlenecks in road traffic are nowadays almost the only measure to slow growth in traffic volume. Therefore, a moratorium may save us stranded investments and preserve some of the landscape and biodiversity left.
Housing: Such a moratorium would raise substantial equity issues if it would make finding an apartment more difficult, especially in areas where there is already a shortage of apartments. The moratorium may lead to higher prices for apartments as supply will be decreased. Newcomers (e.g. young people who move out from home) would have a disadvantage compared to people who already have an apartment/house. More competition in the housing market could reinforce or trigger gentrification of entire neighborhoods.
It makes therefore sense to look at the current housing situation in Switzerland and discuss additional measures that could be taken to alleviate negative impacts: In 2018 each person in Switzerland used on average 46 m2 of living space. Families have the lowest average with 32 m2 and older, single-occupancy residents the highest with 70m2.
In 2019, the number of vacant apartments was high with around 75,000, i.e. 1.66% of all apartments (Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS / FSO) 2019). In addition, the number of vacant office spaces is also quite considerable. However, there are large regional differences.
The growth in apartments is about 1% per year. With a moratorium on new construction the number of apartments will roughly stay the same. If the population grows, as predicted by 0.5% each year, the available living space would be reduced by about 5% in 10 years, this translated to an average reduction from 46 m2 to 41 m2. This would require a substantial shift in how people live. Some of the possible shifts may include:
- Office space to be retrofitted to apartments.
- New life/work arrangements to reduce the hours buildings are not occupied.
- Reduction of single person households in favor of cohabitation.
Such a trend could be supported by either helping to find appropriate roommates, and service packages for the adaptation of single-family houses to new uses. Housing cooperatives in Switzerland have much expertise in managing high occupancy rates of their property and subsidized housing applies strict rules. Living with housemates may also lead to co-benefits such as better physical and mental health, see for example Wu et al. 2003, J. Kim and Cho 2019 or “The Health Benefits of Shared Living - Harvard Health” 2018.
A bonus-malus system could be introduced to create an incentive to live in smaller spaces or with roommates. Such a system would also generate revenue which could be used to provide subsidies for people strongly affected by rising rents. Households that use more than 50m2 per person would need to pay a “occupancy malus” of a fixed amount per m2 heated floor. Households that occupy less than 25m2 per person would profit from a bonus of a fixed amount per m2 heated floor. The fixed amounts are set in a way that makes this measure cost-neutral and allows for enough free apartments (e.g., more than 1%).
Other supporting policies and measures may be necessary to mitigate impacts on rents for low income people.
Impact on immigration and immigration policies: A housing moratorium would have to be supplemented with other measures to ensure that it does not lead to more restrictive immigration policies. The demand for apartments is growing considerably faster than the population. The population in Switzerland has tripled since 1850. In contrast, the number of households has increased sevenfold. Between 2012 and 2016 the population has grown by 4.7% and the number of households has increased by 5.6%.
Questions and Uncertainties
The specifics of how such a moratorium would work would need to be carefully evaluated and designed. Some of the relevant questions that would need to be explored:
- Which exceptions to the moratorium should be possible and what would be the decision structures for permitting such exceptions? (Should exception be possible if the owner pays for the created emissions into a climate fund?)
- Does this measure free up a sufficiently large trained workforce to accomplish all the additional needs outlined in the CAP?
- How will such a moratorium affect Switzerland's economic competitiveness, i.e. what will be the economic costs and benefits of such a moratorium? What will be the consequences in terms of employment and income for people in Switzerland?
Massnahme 1.2 : Treibhausgas Bepreisung
Die Festsetzung eines Preises für CO2 und andere Treibhausgase (THG) führt zur Verteuerung von klimaschädlichen Aktivitäten. Eine Bepreisung setzt das Verursacher*innenprinzip um und gewährleistet Kostenwahrheit. Diese Massnahme gilt für alle wichtigen Treibhausgase und alle Akteur*innen (einschliesslich aller Unternehmen). Der Preis sollte sich zwischen CHF 150-200 im Jahr 2021 bewegen und schrittweise jährlich um CHF 45 ansteigen, um im Jahr 2030 CHF 525 zu erreichen.
Putting a price on CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) makes harmful activities more expensive. There are two ways to determine the cost of a ton of:
Damage cost approach: The price per ton of CO2eq is set based on taking into account all the costs and damages that climate change causes (e.g. food security, health, economic, and infrastructure impacts). There are many studies that estimate the true costs of GHG emissions. The results range from USD 12, an estimate from the US government (Epa and Change Division 2016), to EUR 640 per ton of CO2eq, an estimate from the German government (Matthey and Bünger 2019). The large range is due to the fact that the estimates depend on many assumptions with ethical implications. For example, how do we account for the damages on future generations? Should we assume the costs are the same (like in the German estimate) or should we value those costs less, because they are in the future? (The US government uses a discount rate of 5%, meaning the same damages that costs USD 100 today, are assumed to cost only USD 22 in 30 years). A Damage Cost Approach also involves decisions on how much to value human life - e.g. health costs are usually valued in units of lost GDP. Thus, implicitly, human lives in the global South are valued less than the life of a person in Switzerland.
Overall, damage costs have serious limitations because of the radical uncertainty of potentially catastrophic effects, such as the melting of the polar ice caps in Greenland or West Antarctica cannot be well incorporated (Weitzman 2009). Therefore more often the avoidance cost approach is used.
Avoidance cost approach: The price per ton of CO2eq is set to ensure consumption of fossil fuels and therefore GHG emissions go down. There are many different estimates available for this approach. Here the time frame is also relevant: The EU for example gives estimates for the short-and-medium term costs of EUR 60 - 189/t CO2eq and for long term costs of EUR 156 - 498/tCO2eq ( European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport 2019).
Pricing Systems: Putting a price on GHGs raises the price of fossil fuels and will therefore lower their demand (how much will depend on the price level and the elasticity, see below). GHG taxes may also make climate friendly technologies more competitive and may therefore drive innovation. These policies also all raise revenue.
There are different approaches for greenhouse gas pricing policies. The main ones are: 1) Tax, 2) steering levy or 3) Cap-and-trade systems (discussed in chapter Industry, policy 4.2). Different pricing policies are designed depending on their main purpose. For example, the current Swiss CO2 steering levy on heating oil and gas is tied to emissions reductions targets. If these targets are not met, the CO2 price is raised. We propose a GHG pricing policy that is similar to the existing CO2 steering levy, with the following differences:
- The policy applies to all main greenhouse gases, including CO2, Methane, N2O etc. (The current Swiss CO2 steering levy only applies to CO2)
- The policy applies to all sectors, including buildings, industry, transportation, and agriculture as well as to fossil fuels used for non-energetic uses (the current Swiss CO2 steering levy of CHF 96 only applies to the building sector. Transport and agriculture are completely exempt. Industry is partly exempt)
- All actors, including all companies should be taxed. (Currently all large companies and many mid-sized companies are exempted)
- The tax should start in 2021 in the range of CHF 150 - 200 per ton of CO2eq and then gradually increase. For example, the tax could start in 2021 at CHF 120 (the current maximal price for the CO2 levy) and then increase annually by CHF 45 per year to reach CHF 525 in 2030 (the EU’s high estimate for long term avoidance costs) The gradual increase ensures price predictability and also enables the Border Carbon Adjustment policy to be implemented more easily (see policy 3).
- There are legal differences between a tax and a steering levy. We leave it open, which option is chosen.
- We leave it open, if the tax or levy should be tied to reduction targets and raised if those are missed or if the price should simply rise by a certain percentage point each year. Both options would be possible. An example for the latter is the Swiss levy on heavy duty transportation (LSVA, Heavy vehicle charge (performance-related and lump-sum)).
- We do not define where in the production chain the tax or levy would be charged. It can be charged close to the source (e.g. fossil fuel imports), at the site of emissions (e.g. cement plants for the process-related GHG emissions) or in the retail chain (e.g. on meat and other animal products). The options with the least administrative burden should be chosen.
It is important to note that the GHG pricing policy will only be effective if it is accompanied by the other overarching policy measures outlined in the CAP (see Impact section below).
The GHG pricing policy would generate considerable revenue. A rough estimate shows that at CHF 150 per ton, it would generate around CHF 6 bn in revenues in 2021 and then decrease to almost zero by 2030 under the goal of net-zero by 2030. We estimate total revenue through 2030 to be around 30 billion CHF.
There are strong reasons of climate and social justice (see section on social compatibility below) to give back at least parts of the revenue to the population. However, others argue that the revenue should be used increasingly to finance the needed negative emissions technologies, see for example the section “Policy Measures” in the Chapter on Negative Emissions.
The effect of carbon pricing is limited.
Although carbon pricing is often portrayed as the single most important policy measure, it is in fact only effective if it is part of a broad set of policies and measures. Although a valuable policy tool, its effectiveness is limited due to a variety of factors, including:
- Purchasing and investment decisions are often not primarily based on cost-considerations. (In economic theory this is called “non-rational behavior”);
- Some behaviors do not change very much, even if prices rise. For example, if gasoline prices go up by 10%, people drive on average only 2-3% less. (In economic theory this is called “low elasticity”);
- There are many non-cost barriers that lower the effectiveness of carbon prices: if for example no low-carbon alternatives are available (e.g. no public transport). Also, for a variety of reasons carbon pricing alone cannot drive cost‐effective investment in renewable energy. (In economic theory this is called “market failures”).
- Given the political realities, carbon prices are often too low to be effective. (This is especially true in complex systems such as cap-and-trade schemes where there are many leverage points that can be used to weaken the policy.) Often policies that are less efficient from an economic theory perspective are more effective under real-world circumstances because they are politically and socially more acceptable (e.g. incentives, emissions standards or subsidies);
- For carbon pricing to work, subsidies for fossil fuels have to be removed. They undermine the effectiveness of carbon pricing because the price for fossil fuels remains artificially low. According to the International Monetary Fund (Baoping 2019), fossil fuel subsidies amounted to about 5.2 trillion USD worldwide in 2017, which is over 6% of GDP.
Nevertheless, GHG pricing is an important element of a successful decarbonization plan. If part of a well-designed policies-mix, the GHG pricing policy could help trigger an exponential transition, once GHG-free substitutes become cheaper than fossil fuel-based technologies. The transition will be fastest for products with short lifespans.
A GHG pricing policy as suggested above could trigger additional reductions between 2% and 30% depending on how it is designed and how it interacts with the whole policy mix (For heating buildings and transportation fuels, but also in industry economists estimate the elasticity of fossil fuel demand to be around -0.1 to -0.5.).
Less affluent people spend a higher percentage of their income on energy costs and will therefore be burdened more by such a tax. Recycling back the income can alleviate some of the burden that will arise from rising costs (Sigrist, Iten, and Zimmermann 2019). Therefore, some argue that the majority of the revenues should be earmarked to support these groups, either by recycling the revenues back to them or by subsidizing cost-containment measures. (E.g. house insulation will lower heating costs and CO2 emissions or measures for regions with increased transportation costs, low population density and a lack of public transportation.) Others argue that social justice may be tackled more efficiently with other policy measures than a lump sum recycling of such a levy. Additional policy measures may therefore be needed to ensure low income households are not disproportionately burdened.
In addition, it is very important to note that this policy should not be seen as a stand-alone measure. It can only work in combination with other policies. This should on one hand contain further measures to counter financial pressure but on the other hand also measures to boost the availability of alternatives. Especially in the mobility sector it is crucial to offer people alternative forms of transport.
Questions and Uncertainties
Such a GHG pricing policy could distinguish between products that are necessary (e.g. bus to work) and those that could be considered a luxury (e.g. air travel for vacation). The answers will to a large extent be subjective and normative, nevertheless, we will at some point need to determine what we as a society deem necessary and what should be considered a luxury.
An additional levy could, for example, be put on high-impact products and activities that have been defined as non-essential, e.g. air travel or high levels of meat consumption.
Massnahme 1.3 : CO2-Grenzausgleich für eine faire Ausgangslage
Um die Verlagerung von Emissionen ins Ausland durch das Auslagern von emissionsintensiven Prozessen zu verhindern, wird ein CO2-Grenzausgleich (eng. Border Carbon Adjustment, BCA) eingeführt. Ein BCA erhebt THG-Abgaben auf Importe, die gleich hoch sind wie die THG-Abgaben einheimischer Produkte. Das BCA wird zu einem geringeren Verbrauch von CO2-intensiven Produkten führen und Preisverzerrungen reduzieren.
In addition to effective GHG pricing, Switzerland introduces a “Border Carbon Adjustment”. This means that for all customs categories the GHG emissions are calculated and priced according to the swiss GHG pricing. This levy is then charged as a customs duty on the corresponding products, either per physical units (kg) or per CHF import value.
If a comprehensive greenhouse gas pricing mechanism is introduced (see policy 2) the production costs of Swiss companies will rise. The additional costs faced by producers are the sum of abatement costs and the costs for the remaining emissions. If these companies compete internationally with producers with less stringent climate policies, the risk of leakage arises. Leakage can occur in two ways: One way would be that companies relocate to countries which have a less stringent climate policy to avoid the higher carbon prices. The second way would be that Swiss companies will lose some of their market shares to unregulated foreign competitors who may import cheaper products or replace some of the Swiss export. Thus, both types of leakage will not reduce global emissions and just shift them from Switzerland across the border. Since they will both result in lower production of the domestic industries, they will have a negative impact on Switzerland since jobs and income are lost.
In the past, two approaches have been applied to address the risk of leakage in Switzerland:
(i) emissions intensive companies are exempted from the CO2 levy if they opt for a target agreement (this is the case in Switzerland). This means they face only abatement costs for economic viable abatement measures but do not have to pay for the remaining emissions. They may sell emissions reduction certificates to KLIK if they overachieve the target, thus also have an incentive to overachieve their target.
(ii) companies with the risk of leakage receive free allowances under the Swiss (and EU) Emissions trading scheme on the basis of best available technologies and full plant closures are penalized by withdrawing the related allocation. This means emissions efficient companies get an incentive to invest in abatement given the opportunity to sell the surplus units.
Both approaches reduce the environmental effectiveness of the instruments as it prevents the full pass through of CO2eq costs to consumers, which will weaken the substitution effect away from CO2eq intensive commodities and reduces the incentive to reduce production. In order to overcome such distortions by abolishing free allocation in the ETS and making all other companies pay the greenhouse gas levy, border carbon adjustments (BCA) would be a promising way. As the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules are rather strict on non-discrimination of foreign producers we propose a BCA that would seek to achieve the same treatment for domestic and foreign products by applying the same requirements for imports (payment of greenhouse gas levy or ETS price on “carbon footprint”) and exempting Swiss exports (reimbursement of the levy or ETS price).
Broadly speaking, there are two ways a BCA could be applied: either per product group (e.g. cement) or by individual product. The former has the large advantage that it is not extremely complex to administer so administrative costs could be kept low. Practically, the customs administration would calculate the levy either per physical units (kg, m3, etc.) if the products are homogeneous or per CHF for all other goods and services. The disadvantage is, that this standardization would not allow to account for the actual emissions of a product. For example, all imported cement would be taxed equally, even if one was produced with CCS and the other not. However, it would simplify the implementation and keep administrative costs low. A similar system is also applied for the Value Added Tax at the border.
Ideally, BCA would be introduced jointly with other countries e.g. Switzerland jointly with the EU. Both, in the US and EU some groups and leaders have discussed this instrument for many years. In the US there has not happened much as of now (Nov. 2020), this might however change under a Biden administration since the US has always included BCA in discussions on carbon pricing. In the EU but also in Switzerland (where the Federal Council discussed to abolish industrial tariffs) a window of opportunity has recently opened. As part of the European Green Deal the European commission announced the introduction of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The commission is focusing on “imports only” solutions e.g. a CO2-price on certain emissions intensive sectors, implemented as an additional customs duty or as allowances surrendering requirements via the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS). This offers a great opportunity for Switzerland to simultaneously introduce its own BCA and coordinate with the EU, given that emission intensive industries are regulated by the Swiss ETS which is linked to the EU ETs.
The finance situation will depend on the net-import of CO2eq in the products covered by the BCA as well as the price determined by the GHG-levy and ETS price. Rough estimates by Droz-Georget (2017) assuming a tax level of 120 CHF/t CO2eq and a net-import of goods falling under the BCA of around 70 million tCO2eq calculated a net revenue of 10 billion CHF per year. Assuming that the net-import could be halved by 2030 and the tax level raises to 210 CHF/t a total of 90 billion CHF would be generated by 2030.
This measure would increase the living and production costs in Switzerland which will have negative impacts on competitiveness. Therefore, a part of the net revenue could be used to either lower other cost factors e.g. labor costs or to be recycled back on a per capita basis.
A part of the revenues could also be used for climate finance in poor countries (see International Collaboration & Climate Finance).
The BCA will reduce distortions by abolishing free allocation or target agreements, therefore it should increase efficiency and effectiveness of those instruments. The additional impact will be largest abroad because less GHG-intensive products will be consumed and because the revenue will contribute to global mitigation efforts. At global mitigation costs projected by the World Bank for 2030 of 70 USD/t one could reduce more than 1’000 million tons of CO2eq with the BCA revenue if spent on mitigation only.
Due to higher cost-pass-through the costs of energy-intensive goods and commodities would rise significantly. This may affect poor households disproportionately as they spend higher shares of their salaries on energy-intensive goods. Therefore, part of the revenue may be used to improve the income situation of poor households.
Questions and Uncertainties
There is a risk that trading partners would call for WTO or GATT conflict resolution and delay the introduction.In case of a stepwise introduction, this might result in a distortion in the market for manufactured products. E.g. if imports of aluminium profiles are charged a BTA but window imports not, then the Swiss window producers would lose market shares.
Massnahme 1.4 : "Matterhorn" Die Netto-Null-Einkaufsplattform für Beschaffungen der öffentlichen Hand
Beschaffungen der öffentlichen Hand (6% des Schweizer BIP) müssen sich auf Netto-Null-Güter beschränken. Es muss eine Einkaufsplattform entwickelt werden, die einen direkten und wettbewerbsfähigen Zugang zu den Produzent*innen und Verkäufer*innen von Netto-Null-Gütern ermöglicht. Die Steilwand des Matterhorns symbolisiert den raschen Ausstieg aus fossilen Energien, der im CAP und im Pariser Abkommen vorgesehen ist.
Incentives to supply net-zero products are needed to speed up the transition. Public households (communities, state, federal level) including publicly owned entities and companies are an important economic sector (spending of 6% of Swiss GDP (=40 billion CHF/a) and responsible for a similar share of the Swiss consumption footprint) and owned by all of us.
The relevant laws (BöB and others) must be changed to require that public purchasing be limited to net-zero goods.
Net-zero goods either cause zero GHG emissions in the whole production and use phase or make sure that permanent negative emissions compensate for remaining technically non-avoidable emissions. Such negative emissions need to follow strict criteria and shall not be counted towards the host countries NDC (i.e. needs corresponding adjustment).
To make this possible a purchasing platform must be developed to give direct and competitive access to producers and sellers of net-zero products. The platform could be called “Matterhorn” and compete globally. The steep slope of the Matterhorn symbolizes the rapid exit envisioned by the CAP and Paris agreement. The platform would be open to private buyers as well.
For products unavailable in a net-zero quality on the global market the platform would both organize competitions (prize money for those meeting the specifications) or guaranteed purchasing submission (we buy a million net-zero pieces below a certain price). The net-zero requirement would include the full supply chain. If this requirement would prove to be unrealistic one could relax the requirement by asking for purchasing from companies that have agreed Science Based Targets for 1.5° agreed by https://sciencebasedtargets.org/ and implement them by 2030.
The existing platform KBOB https://www.kbob.admin.ch/ in the building sector and the relevant Swiss Association https://www.svoeb.ch/ for all sectors could become the hosts or driver of the platform. While it should be established immediately, the platform would steadily grow by both number of net-zero goods and services and the volume of sold/enabled purchases.
Since the measure would be indirectly mandated by law, the surplus costs would be carried by those purchasing or selling through the platform. A one-off loan to kick-start the platform could be granted by the public administration and later be repaid through revenues from a service charge.
If public purchasing becomes net-zero this will reduce the consumption emissions of Switzerland by about 6%. If the platform is used by the private economy as well the impact could become much higher.
Producers that do not adapt to net-zero-production and highly depend on the public sector may lose their business. However, this is an intended consequence of a rapid transformation and does not imply that employees of such companies do not find new employment.
Questions and Uncertainties
Such a platform may violate certain rules of WTO and WeKo because it is the intention to exclude some suppliers. The design of the platform should make sure that the best ideas and products can compete globally.
Massnahme 1.5 : Garantiefristen gegen geplante Veralterung
Die gesetzlichen Garantiefristen sollten sich pro Produkt spezifisch an der technisch möglichen Lebensdauer orientieren. Für Komponenten, die einem hohen Verschleiss unterliegen, sind die Garantiefristen separat zu definieren. Ersatzteile sollen über die Garantiefrist hinaus langfristig verfügbar sein.
The statutory warranty periods should be specifically geared per product to the technically possible service life. For individual components with high wear and tear, the warranty periods are to be defined separately accordingly and spare parts are to be ensured in the long term beyond the product warranty period.
This should prevent manufacturers from falling victim to short-term profit logic and trying to increase their sales by means of "planned obsolence".
In order to enable long lifetimes, qualitatively better products have to be developed and produced. This raises the requirements to product development and manufacturing and promotes long-term partnerships and the development of a production culture (building culture). Producers will prefer more durable, simple and robust designs because they are easier and cheaper to repair in case of damage.
The introduction can take place immediately. The warranty periods must be periodically checked and adjusted.
Increasing investment costs and decreasing maintenance and amortization costs can be expected. If necessary, alternative ownership/usage concepts must be established (sharing economy/contracting/maintenance contracts).
Longer life cycles mean that products need to be replaced less often. This reduces resource and energy consumption and is more cost-effective in the long term.
Market saturation is reached faster, which leads to decreasing sales for producers. This loss of profit can be passed on to prices.
Questions and Uncertainties
For prototypes or new developments no comparison and experience data is available. This includes buildings, components and constructions. It is important not to make developments and prototypes impossible. This regulation is only suitable for serially manufactured products.
Massnahme 1.6 : Klimafolgenabschätzung
Die Schweiz erstellt eine Klima- und Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung (Climate Impact Assessment) für alle Produkte und Dienstleistungen. Teil dieser Prüfung sollen alle Scope 3 Emissionen sein. Die Informationen über die Produkte und die Berechnung der Werte sollen in einer öffentlich zugänglichen Datenbank gespeichert werden, um Transparenz zu gewährleisten.
Switzerland establishes a climate, environmental and social impact assessment (in the following referred to as climate impact assessment) for all non-food products and services. This impact assessment represents the basis for further policy actions such as the introduction of a carbon label as well as the taxing or banning of environmentally and socially harmful products and services.
Part of these climate impact assessments should be all Scope 3 impacts including (but not conclusive) packaging, chains of transportation and transportation infrastructure, emissions through deforestation and agriculture, enteric emissions from livestock, energy and heat production.
The climate impact assessment should be introduced for all non-food products and services traded. For all kinds of food an additional impact assessment and label should be done, as proposed in the chapter on agriculture. For the climate impact assessment companies and institutions are called upon to initiate appropriate audits of their own accord as soon as possible and to disclose the corresponding results. The appropriateness of such tests should be assessed by an independent public body. If necessary, this body must be able to carry out audits itself if those of the companies fail to do so or are found to be inadequate. The benchmark for the assessment must be the best known climate, environmental and social policy practice per product/service with regard to production, packaging, transport routes, distribution, life cycle, repairability and recycling at the end of use. Effective sanctions must be created so that climate impact assessments are enforced and their results lead to real improvements. If necessary, the production, distribution and trade of climate-damaging products/services must be prohibited.
The information about the products and calculation of the scores should be in an open-database accessible by everybody to allow everyone transparent access.
The financing and implementation of the climate impact assessments is the responsibility of the companies that trade the relevant products. The financing of the supervision of these tests and possible interventions (up to and including the performance of own audits) is the responsibility of the Swiss government. A part of the money needed can and must also be raised by the companies concerned, especially if the audits carried out by the companies themselves are inadequate and have to be taken over by the public authorities.
Climate, environmental and social impact assessments make it possible to uncover practices that are harmful to the environment and climate for the entire range of goods and services and to implement the best practice in terms of climate and social policy. This also applies to practices that contradict social standards, e.g. with regard to a humane labour law.
Another important dimension of climate compatibility is the transport routes that a product and its components take. Transport costs that are far too cheap, enormous wage differences worldwide and the lack of ethical behaviour on the part of many companies often lead to grotesquely high transportation. For example, Norwegian smoked salmon is transported to China to be carved there before being shipped back to Europe and ending up on the shelves of supermarkets (Donaukurier, 11.5.17). Thanks to the climate impact assessment, such practices can be uncovered and immediately stopped.
In addition to climate-relevant criteria, the assessment should also reflect other environmental concerns (e.g. biodiversity, marine protection) and social concerns. Trade unions and professional associations are to be involved in conducting the audits and assessing the concrete consequences of sanctions. If necessary, measures in the sense of a just transition must be defined and implemented. This must be the case when the results of the climate impact assessments have consequences in the manufacturing of goods, for instance lowering the output because of elimination of obsolescence.
Questions and Uncertainties
The method of climate impact testing starts with the trade in the finished products. The chapter on industry proposes measures that intervene in the production process. Any coordination of these measures must
be examined more closely. In particular, the approaches in the chapter on industry must be used as a basis for examining how climate impact assessments can be carried out on export products and what effects this may have.
Since all products traded in Switzerland are treated equally, there should be no conflicts with provisions in international treaties on trade - although we recommend in any case suspending those provisions that
stand in the way of a successful climate policy. It could happen that certain foreign manufacturers will refuse to continue supplying the Swiss market. In any case, it is clear that climate impact assessments should quickly gain a foothold in other countries as well, i.e. become an instrument of international climate and social policy.
The argument that such an impact assessment would entail a great deal of bureaucracy is undoubtedly true. But only with the help of such bureaucracy can it be ensured that the best possible progress in climate policy can be made in each individual case. In view of the threat this bureaucracy is more than justified. Moreover, it builds up knowledge and know-how that is of the highest value for the areas and sectors concerned and for society as a whole.
Massnahme 1.7 : Label für Klimaauswirkungen
Gestützt auf das “Climate Impact Assessment” soll ein Klima-Label für alle Produkte in der Schweiz (ausgenommen Nahrungsmittel, siehe Kapitel Landwirtschaft) obligatorisch werden. Dies gibt den Konsument*innen Transparenz und hilft ihnen, fundierte Kaufentscheidungen zu treffen. Zudem schafft es einen Anreiz für Produzent*innen, ihre Klimabelastung zu senken.
A climate impact label for non-food products is already possible today for some products and will, with the introduction of the climate impact assessments, become possible for all. To enforce a climate impact label for all non-food products sold in Switzerland a policy is needed. The targeted climate impact label is of similar character as the well-known nutrition indications on all food products. The goal of this policy would be to improve the transparency of the emission of each product, to sensitize and help consumers to make educated choices and reduce their ecological footprint. It will further have an impact on the companies by encouraging them to improve their processes to lower the climate impact of their products.
For food products a separate label should be created as proposed in the chapter on agriculture.
The climate impact label will be calculated based on the climate impact assessment (Policy 1.6). This label will have a detailed part mentioning the CO2eq emitted by the production and transportation of the final product as well as preceding production levels. Depending on the product type also further important information could be included, for instance the use of water resources, the impact on deforestation or animal welfare aspects.
A clear labelling strategy should be established (e.g. good, average, bad, very bad with respective color code) to facilitate the understanding for consumers and to underline when a product is climate damaging.
For a product to be sold in Switzerland, a climate impact label will need to be present on the packaging. However this obviously does not replace active measures to improve the climate compatibility of products.
Financing is needed only for the climate impact assessment which’s financing is described in the respective policy (Policy 1.6).
Companies will be interested in buying or producing goods that produce small amounts of CO2eq to make their product more attractive. This is especially because the consumers' awareness will rise significantly. Competition between products depending on their CO2eq consumption will be enabled because the consumers have reliable information for the comparison of these goods. The result of such a policy will be reduced competitiveness of climate-damaging products and companies encouraged to reduce the climate impact of their products.
Prices will not be affected at first. Based on the climate impact labelling, a ban on climate damaging products could be done. Moreover, pricing based on the climate impact could also be done but social compatibility should be taken into consideration. The solution will be to tax “climate damaging products” and substitute other products to keep essential products affordable.
Questions and Uncertainties
- It might be more difficult to calculate the climate impact of non-food products because they do not have a clear list of ingredients, but it can be done by improving the life-cycle estimation.
- How can a carbon tax be implemented in a later stage? The carbon price should be higher than 200 CHF.-/ tones in order to make any significant difference in the price.
- The ideal system would actually be to have a carbon budget, but this is difficult to implement.
Massnahme 1.8 : Kommerzielle Werbung durch Kunst und Bildung ersetzen
Um den Verbrauch von klimaschädlichen Produkten zu reduzieren und unnötigen Konsum generell zu verringern, wird kommerzielle Werbung in allen öffentlichen physischen Räumen verboten. Stattdessen soll der freigewordene Raum für Kunst und Bildung genutzt werden.
Ban of Commercial Advertising from all Public Physical Spaces
In view of the threat posed by climate change, advertising and sponsoring in particular climate-damaging products (e.g. flights, dairy products, cars etc.) and services but also in general are no longer acceptable.
For example, Switzerland has been subsidizing the advertisement of milk products for decades despite its significant climate impact. Just as problematic is the omnipresent encouragement to consume more and more. The consumerist society promoted by today's advertising campaigns is neither compatible with our vision of a future based on more than material values nor with the target of reaching net zero by 2030.
Therefore, commercial advertising will be banned from all public physical spaces (streets, train stations, public transports etc.). The advertising spaces freed up by this, should be used exclusively for educational purposes and art.
In addition, an expert commission should be created to develop a model of an advertisement-free internet and a clear plan to transition to it.
The permanent consumerist takeover of public spaces is reduced. This should alleviate the pull to seek compensatory short-term satisfaction through consumption, which has climate-damaging effects. Since advertising bans often come along with a general social transformation there is some uncertainty about their specific impact. Research implies that only comprehensive bans, as proposed here, have a relevant effect (Blecher 2008) . The ban will not solve technological problems, but it can help to prevent unnecessary emissions in a mid-term perspective. In the medium and long term, the most important effect will be a reduction in consumerism and a shift of desire to other fields (time prosperity, new care in dealing with goods and materials).
This measure leads to a reduction of the advertising income of the public sector, private companies and state enterprises. However, this enables considerable savings in marketing and advertising. If financing is needed to achieve a just transition it can come from revenue of taxes suggested in other chapters.
For some of the employees in marketing and advertising, programmes for a just transition are needed, which are to be developed together with those concerned. This can be done by the ProGJ (see policy 9.1 in the chapter Economic and Political Structures).
Questions and Uncertainties
- The broader economic consequences of the reduction in consumption are not clear. The social problems in forms of job loss created by this measure could be massive. This would then have to be countered by other fundamental structural change.
- Many important services of today's society, particularly social media and media, are financed only through advertisement. For these businesses an alternative business-model needs to be developed.
Massnahme 1.9 : Klimabank und Klima-Agenturen
Für die Transformation unserer Infrastruktur (Wohnen, Mobilität, Energie usw.) sind finanzielle Mittel in grossem Umfang erforderlich. Eine öffentliche, nicht profitorientierte Klimabank ermöglicht Kredite an so genannte Klima-Agenturen zu verleihen, um infrastrukturelle Grossprojekte zu ermöglichen. Klima-Agenturen sind z.B. Architekturbüros, Solarinstallateur*innen usw., die in der Lage sind, diese Infrastrukturprojekte zu realisieren. Das Fachwissen und die Technologie sind grösstenteils bereits vorhanden. Aber aufgrund fehlender Finanzierung und Nachfrage können Projekte in der benötigten Grössenordnung nicht realisiert werden. Die Nachfrage (z.B. nach dem Ersatz von Ölheizungen) wird rasch steigen, ebenso die benötigten finanziellen Mittel. Das zur Verfügung gestellte Geld wäre günstiges Fremdkapital, da es von der Klimabank zu erschwinglichen Zinssätzen angeboten wird.
Note: The basis of a climate Bank/Climate Agency policy are clear targets and rules set in all the relevant sectors to achieve GHG neutrality. The agency can then offer support by providing funding for projects needed to adhere to these rules and targets.
Concrete Policy: A climate bank is created. The bank is public, i.e. it must be self-supporting in the long term, but not profitable. This allows the financing costs, i.e. the interest on the loans, to be kept lower than in the case of private banks.
The climate bank grants credits to Climate Agencies. They are also non-profit and public. Climate Agencies are the general contractor for investments necessary to fulfill rules and targets described above and/or generally improve the GHG footprint, e.g. new heating systems, solar systems and so on. Customers of Climate Agencies are private households, companies, institutions and, if required, also public bodies. While the Climate Bank regulates the financing through banking, the Climate Agency is responsible for the practical implementation of the investments. Climate Agencies are competence centres, who have technological, business, process and legal knowledge and know the networks of providers, craftsmen and so on.
The public sector thus assumes the investments costs, which have so far been a major obstacle to the substitution of sustainable technologies. Property owners are not forced to take advantage of the agency's offer, but can also meet the requirements with their own investments.
A depreciation plan determines the annual depreciation of the investments. For example, a users' new "energy bill" consists of annual amortization payments in the amount of the depreciation and interest payments as well as the greatly reduced energy costs (e.g. to operate a heat pump). Due to the longevity of the measures implemented, these costs should be lower (and less fluctuating) than the costs of fossil fuels.
The user of the new systems is not a debtor. He only pays for the use. The only condition is that, in the event of the sale of the properties concerned, the Climate Agency is entitled to a part of the proceeds in the amount of the remaining residual value of the investment. This amount corresponds to the increase in value due to the investment. The users purchase the services of the facilities created by the investment as energy contract partners. The contract to be concluded for this purpose is valid for the lifetime of the plant. It is possible for the property owner to buy the system from the Climate Agency at a later date at the then existing residual value. Likewise, the use can also be continued with a new owner after the sale of a property, provided that the latter does not buy the system at the same time.
Money is not a scarce resource. Money is created when loans are granted (e.g. by opening a new credit line). Credits are only granted to Climate Agencies. Climate Agencies’ debts are covered by real assets, i.e. the real value of investments to households and companies. Depreciation generates the cash flows with which the loan can be repaid. With the repayment, the balance sheet total of both the agency and the bank is reduced again. So the crucial question for climate financing is not whether there is enough money, but how the model and payment plan of an investment works. In short: for the operation of the system, there is no financing necessary, because the policy is credit-based.
The only need for the Climate Bank is to fulfill legal framework conditions such as equity ratios and minimum reserves. While minimum reserves can be obtained via access to central bank reserves and the interbank market, equity capital would have to be generated, for example, via a deposit from the public sector.
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030 requires a comprehensive ecological restructuring of energy production and consumption. Numerous technological solutions are available. Solar energy, alternative heating systems and thermal insulation are either already competitive today or will be in the foreseeable future. Their application often fails because of the high investment costs. The high initial fixed costs are offset by savings that can only be realized over longer time horizons. Demanding large investments from private households raises questions about the social compatibility of climate protection.
With a credit based solution, the achievement of climate targets could be significantly accelerated. There are no reasons for long transition periods and delays.
In the case of technologies where competitiveness is still lacking, even including the reduced risk due to the absence of cost fluctuations, financing through the Climate Bank can also be combined with subsidy contributions provided for in various areas of climate and energy policy.
Subsidies could also come into play when existing installations must be replaced for ecological reasons a long time before they are depreciated, and cost-savings by new technologies cannot compensate for an early depreciation.
The model not only massively accelerates ecological conversion, it also generates employment. In fact, the bottleneck is the working force. So, there is a strong link to policy 1.1. (Moratorium on new infrastructure until 2030).
With the system of a Climate Bank & Climate Agencies everybody has access to needed credits when being obliged to invest in climate-friendly technologies – also households with low income, but having their own house. Furthermore Climate Agencies unify the necessary competences to minimize the risk of poorly planned or implemented infrastructures.
Because Climate Banks and Climate Agencies must be non profit Organisations, costs can be lower than in a commercial setting, and there is no interest in selling oversized solutions.
Questions and Uncertainties
The risks for the Climate Bank are very low. Even if the owner of the properties should become insolvent, the agency is entitled to an amount corresponding to the current value of the investment when the real assets are sold. A greater risk occurs when property prices generally fall sharply, so that the sale yields insufficient income. This is a normal investment risk, which is very low thanks to the standard and relatively homogeneous investments required for ecological reconstruction.
If necessary, some legal frameworks may also need to be adapted. The following points should be noted:
- Solar installations and heating systems can be distinguished from a property. This is not possible with thermal insulation. As soon as an installation is inseparably linked to a building, it becomes part of the property, which means that the property owner also becomes the owner of the investment. So that such energy-saving renovations can also be financed via the Climate Bank, the appropriate legal adjustments must be made. This question is particularly important when selling a building.
- In the event of a real estate crisis, in the case of a bankrupt mortgage debtor, on the one hand the investment of the climate agency is included in the bankruptcy assets in addition to the building. On the other hand, the owner will also be pursued by the Climate Agency for his debt if he cannot pay the monthly instalments (depreciation + interest). This means that the Climate Agency can also assert claims.
Kapitel 2: Mobilität
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 2.1 : Neu-Priorisierung des Verkehrssystems
Die Verfassung (Art. 88) soll gewährleisten, dass bei der Verkehrsplanung eine Neuordnung der Prioritäten wie folgt vorgenommen wird 1. Fussverkehr, 2. Velo, 3. öffentlicher Verkehr, 4. Schiene, 5. Strasse, 6 Luft. Es ist entscheidend, ein Netz von sicheren, schnellen und direkten Verbindungen sowohl für Fussgänger*innen als auch für Radfahrer*innen auf allen Ebenen zu haben.
An adjustment of Art. 88 in the federal constitution accompanied by the establishment of local planning processes should be established by 2021 in order to ensure pedestrians and cyclists will get the infrastructure they need to move safely and fast.
The most sustainable ways of transport are walking and biking. Even if just in 2018 article 88 (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft 2016) was adjusted in favor of cyclists, it does not at all go far enough. It is crucial to have a network of safe, fast and direct connections on national, cantonal and communal levels for both pedestrians and cyclists. Today the car is often first in planning. First comes the road, then the space left is divided amongst pedestrians and cyclists.
The constitution should ensure that there is a re-prioritization in planning for the traffic carriers as following: 1. pedestrians, 2. bike, 3. public transport, 4. rail, 5. road, 6. air. An adjustment of article 88 (Foot, hiking and bicycle paths) supports a development so that cycling and walking will be given the value it deserves. Such a change needs to be binding not only on national, but on cantonal and communal level. The above mentioned prioritization should be the basis of all projects (construction site, reinstatement work, new construction, crossroads, traffic lights, traffic concepts, traffic space design). The process needs to be adjusted to local needs and include the specific needs of the people.
Besides framing a change on a high level, locally adjusted solutions are crucial in order to make change happen. By realizing local planning processes on communal level, traffic space should be redesigned to spaces of living for humans. As each commune, each city is different there is no single solution that can be adapted anywhere. Not regarding how to design the process, nor what needs to be done. The above described re-prioritization may serve as a guideline. Furthermore, all political and legal frameworks and programs treating traffic (Cantonal constitutions, municipal constitutions, federal sectoral plans, cantonal/communal structure plans, mission statements, projects) need to be adjusted towards a re-prioritization of traffic modes.
The National Roads and Agglomeration Fund (NAF/FORTA/FOSTRA) will be adjusted as suggested in policy “Freezing federal road capacity”. Money no longer used for building road capacities for motorized individual traffic, will partly be used in order to finance a safe, fast and direct network for pedestrians and cyclists.
A re-prioritization of the traffic carriers is necessary on all levels: in cities, neighborhoods, single streets and so on. Thereby quality of stay and quality of living can be increased tremendously. By re-allocating space that has been taken up by cars, and making it available to people, new livable city centers, neighborhoods and residential areas are developed. It can be expected that people tend to stay in their surroundings more often and satisfy more of their needs within their close surroundings. The energy demand for and the impact of mobility will decrease. Cycling and walking will be safer and more attractive. People will switch to these modes of transport.
Changing mobility habits are favorable for everyone. To name some examples: On an individual level, more physical movement leads to healthier and happier people, as well as lower health care costs. An increase in the quality of stay leads to busy streets and enlivened cities and therefore is also good and favorable for local businesses. Neighborhoods with more public, more green space and slower forms of mobility are safer for children and are inviting to relax.
Massnahme 2.2 : Umverteilung der bestehenden Infrastruktur
Fünfzig Prozent der bestehenden Infrastruktur für private Autos im öffentlichen Raum soll zugunsten von Fussverkehr, Velos, öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel und Carsharing-Angeboten umverteilt werden. Diese Massnahme soll bis 2030 zu einer Verkehrsrevolution und einer höheren Lebensqualität führen.
The introduction of a legal regulation on cantonal and communal level to reallocate 50 percent of the existing infrastructure for private cars in public spaces to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport and car sharing until 2030, should lead to a traffic revolution.
Rolling and standing motorized individual traffic uses a lot of space. Imagine a person walking around carrying a wooden frame of the size of a car. Silly, no? Often people sit alone in their car, claiming a ridiculous amount of space for themselves. Naturally. Cyclists often do not have separate lanes to comfortably ride from A to B. Pedestrians wait at crossroads and face high curbstones with a walking frame or pushchairs. Here and there you find a tree, or some square meters of lawn in cities. Green spaces are rare. During rush hour public busses queue in line with private cars. Kids play between parked cars. By introducing a legal regulation that obliges communities and cantons to reallocate space, this could be changed. The goal is:
- Elimination of legal obligations for building parking-space.
- Introduction of the principle of equidistance (distance to reach a private car, needs to be no shorter than to public transportation).
- Less space for motorized individual traffic, more space for foot, bike and public transport.
- More green space, recreational space, public space.
- Separate lanes for bikes, public transport (also on highways), car sharing.
- Provide charging infrastructure for e-mobility (bikes and cars).
- Central car parking facilities, replace scattered parking spaces taking up public space.
- Parking spaces for motorized traffic are charged everywhere, always from the first minute on.
- Covered and sufficient parking facilities for bikes are provided.
- And more.
Expected costs are moderate, as the principle is not to build more and new infrastructure but reuse the existing one.
A new mobility is possible. The basis will be laid for a green mobility. People are being expected to switch to other forms of mobility. Cars parked further from home (exception for people with limited mobility) will induce an increase in use of public transport but reducing convenience of having car parks right in front of our place compared to public transports that often require a few minutes walking. Living areas will be liberated from parked cars and traffic. Traffic caused from seeking a parking lot will be eliminated. Thus, in densely populated areas this will lead to more space for people and a higher quality of life.
The elimination of the dominance of the car in all areas of our lives leads to new qualities. Kids can play safely in the streets, people meet outdoors. People reclaim the streets.
Massnahme 2.3 : Einführung einer neuen intelligenten Multimodalität für Menschen und Gütertransport
Die Einführung eines gesamtschweizerischen Hub-Systems und eines engmaschigen Auto- und Velo-Sharing-Angebots kann die Hürden für den Umstieg vom Privatauto auf eine optimale Kombination verschiedener Verkehrsmittel senken.
Two key offers can lower the barriers to switch from the private car to a way of combining different means of transport in the best way possible. The introduction of a hub-system all over Switzerland and a close-mesh of car- and bike-sharing offers, make it easy to change. In freight transport the introduction of hub-systems will supersede road transport.
Public transportation is already today more convenient than driving a car - on certain routes. Indeed it is often not faster or cheaper. The variety of different means of transport should be utilized, in order to always use the best option climate wise and at the same time increase passenger comfort to facilitate switching. Mobility will be seen as a whole, and offered as public service. Owning a private car is no longer necessary. By introducing a close-mesh offer of car-sharing possibilities, it is more convenient to share and it is cheaper than owning a private car. The advantages of digitalization can be used in a smart way, in order to make sharing more easy.
Today there is more or less a net of roads/ways for each mode of transport. There are roads for cars, lanes for busses, ways for pedestrians, lanes for bicycles, tracks for trains. These systems are mostly planned besides each other. If the different modes of transport would no longer be taken each on its own, but seen interrelated, each one could be used there where it makes most sense. Cars are of little use within a city, but might be the best choice for remote places. A hub-system would allow people to switch from one to the other mode of transport easily, and always use the one that is the smartest choice. A journey must not be made with one single mode of transport, but switching between is easily possible. Following preconditions are necessary for a functioning hub-system and support multi-modality:
- Compatibility of public transport and bike: There needs to be attractive and enough offers to transport the bike with public bus, or train.
- Smart use of Digitalization: Use of booking systems, apps to reduce climate impact: e.g. bus on demand/reservation.
- International connection: Switzerland is no island. One needs to think mobility across borders. There need to be connection points to neighboring countries.
- Cargo sorting stations and direct railway access: What applies for people, applies for cargo. It needs to be reloaded: from road to rail / from road to bike (inner city). Infrastructure to connect central sorting and storage factories to railway network.
- Parking infrastructure: Parking outside city centers with rental bike stations/ access to railway.
Sharing needs to be more attractive than owning. The private car slowly loses importance for younger generations. The convenience of using and owning a private car needs to be reduced, as this comfort for one person today comes at the cost of the society as a whole. Where a car still makes more sense, than keeping up capacities of public transport that are not utilized efficiently, car-sharing is key. These offers need to be placed at sparsely populated areas where few people live and at hub-stations. In urban areas foot, bike and public transport are favorable. Moreover cargo bikes have a great potential, when it comes to short distances that need to be covered transporting for example groceries or kids. However not everybody needs to own a cargo bike. The availability of a cargo bike sometimes renders the use of a car unnecessary. The same applies for bikes in general. There is big potential especially in urban areas to complement public transport with an attractive bike sharing offer. In order to foster (cargo-)bike-/ and car-sharing and introduce it at the right spot the following preconditions need to be given:
- Close-mesh offer: The offer needs to be big enough in order to be more attractive than a private car. For a transition phase cars can be placed within cities. In the Long term, shared cars should also be banned from the city centers and be placed where it makes most sense to have a flexible offer. Either there are fixed stations, or a free flow system combined with an app, showing where the next available car is.
- Important role in mountain regions: The private car often seems indispensable in mountain regions. Especially in mountain villages car-sharing this could be a smart way to reach public transport and simply switch at the next station. This offer needs to be supported in the form of a public service.
- Framework: This system needs to be set in place by communities, cities and cantons. Private public partnerships are an option, especially energy suppliers (synergy peaks energy supply and demand, combined with the storage in e-vessels).
- Lower entry-barriers: The offer needs to be visible, handy and known. People have to get used to cargo bikes. It might take offers for free trials, or even guided courses.
- Easy-access: Cargo-bikes need to be placed where they are needed. This can be near shopping facilities or where many families live.
- Where there is little or a lot of public transport: Bike sharing can be useful either in dense areas (cities) to complement the offer of public transport, or where there is little offer of public transport (remote, mountain areas).
User pays principle.
A different mobility culture is being fostered. Cars are less frequently privately owned and are shared effectively or replaced by bikes or cargo-bikes (Less cars, lower use of space). Moreover, smart multimodality results in less GHG intense forms of transportation for commuting, leisure and goods.
Maintenance is divided (less time per user, than private car/bike) meaning more free time per person.
Massnahme 2.4 : Autofreie Städte
Ab 2025 sind alle grösseren Städte der Schweiz bis auf wenige Ausnahmen autofrei. Das bereits bestehende Angebot an öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln in der Stadt und ihre Dichte erlauben es, alle Mobilitätsbedürfnisse zu Fuss, mit dem Velo und mit öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln abzudecken. Die Verteilung von Gütern wird weitgehend mit Cargo-Velos abgewickelt.
From 2025 all major cities in Switzerland are car-free. The already existing offer of public transport in the city and the proximity of everything allows it to cover all mobility needs by foot, bike and public transportation. The distribution of goods will largely be handled by cargo bikes.
Individual motorized traffic should be banned from cities' urban areas. Alternatives (foot, bike, public transport) taking less space for traffic and leaving more space for life, take over. Motorized traffic is only applied for the exceptions of supplies for the population and businesses, keeping up public services, public transportation, as well as mobility for people with disabilities. Communal constitutions need to be adjusted accordingly. Whilst the public transportation for people in many cities already is on a high level, the system for a non-motorized distribution of goods needs to be expanded. Cargo bikes play an important role. Today trucks and delivery vans drive right into the city. In the vision of a car free city, all goods possible are reloaded at hubs at the city border. These hubs ideally are also connected to the railway system. Trucks and trains are unloaded there, the goods are loaded onto cargo bikes, which overtake the fine distribution within the city.
Imagine a city that is no longer built around streets for cars, but built for humans: Clean air, little noise, save surroundings, a space where humans meet.
No financing required.
Space is being reclaimed by the people. New utilizations of the space are open for collaborative processes. Cities will be safer for bikes and pedestrians. Increase in air quality and sound pollution leading to higher quality of life.
Quality of life for inhabitants and quality of stay for visitors in cities increases tremendously. Exceptions (e.g. for people with disabilities) allow everyone to participate.
Massnahme 2.5: Moratorium für den Bau von Bundesstrassen
Eine Bausperre für Bundesstrassen führt direkt zu einer Verringerung der Treibhausgasemissionen. Es wird weniger gebaut und der motorisierte Verkehr wird gleichzeitig unattraktiver. Längerfristig führt dies zu einer Verlagerung auf klimafreundlichere Verkehrsformen und stoppt die weitere Bodenversiegelung und den Verlust von Grünflächen.
In the chapter cross-sectoral policies a moratorium on new infrastructure until 2030 is being proposed (see Policy 1.1). This general moratorium on new infrastructure includes buildings and roads and targets the emissions from construction work. A suspension of federal road construction for motorized individual traffic, would also break the vicious cycle of more roads leading to more traffic. The establishment of a suspension of federal road construction (including new motorway junctions) by 2021 in the federal constitution by an adjustment of Art. 83, is therefore an important step that needs to be established as soon as possible.
The motorized traffic leads to more than 30 percent of total GHG emissions in Switzerland (FSO 2018). Traffic showed an increase in the past and can be expected to increase strongly in the future if nothing changes. The increase in traffic cannot simply be explained by population growth. Numbers show that traffic grows stronger than population (FSO 2018). Especially on federal roads (DETEC 2018). Current federal politics foster an expansion of road capacities. The problem: More roads lead to more traffic. Motorized individual traffic has more than quintupled since 1960. Meeting that fact by building new roads and increasing capacities is a vicious cycle. Therefore, financing for planning and extension of federal roads through the National Roads and Agglomeration Fund (NAF/FORTA/FOSTRA) should be suspended immediately. A reassessment and adjustment of the STEP (Strategisches Entwicklungsprogramm Nationalstrassen) is necessary.
The NAF/FORTA/FOSTRA was established in 2017, in order to secure financing for maintenance, extension and elimination of traffic bottlenecks of federal roads, as well as supporting projects such as new tram lines and pedestrian and bicycle lanes. In total 3 billion CHF are available. Maintenance will be even more expensive than included in the budget. A big share of this money will not be used for the initial purpose, if a suspension of federal road construction is being decided, therefore it could be invested in climate-conscious forms of mobility (see policy “Improve capacity for walking and biking” and “Introduction of foot-/ and bike tax release”) and projects for noise remediation.
A suspension of federal road construction leads directly to a decrease in GHG emissions (road construction, which is CO2-intense, will not be done), in the long run a switch to more climate-friendly forms of traffic can be expected. The most important impacts are in fact that the growth of supply driven traffic (infrastructural induced traffic) as well as further soil sealing and the loss of green space can be avoided.
There is a positive overall effect on quality of life (noise, air quality) to be expected, of which all people and especially residents near roads profit.
People working on road work might face higher unemployment rate, therefore accompanying measures will be taken to facilitate professional reintegration. These measures are described in the chapter on economic and political structures (see Policy 9.1).
Massnahme 2.6 : Verbot für den Verkauf von fossilem Treibstoff und fossilem Strom
Der Verkauf von fossilen Treibstoffen und fossilem Strom wird spätestens ab 2030 verboten sein. Dies stellt sicher, dass in der Mobilität ausschliesslich erneuerbare Energien eingesetzt werden und bietet einen zusätzlichen Anreiz für die Menschen, den Kauf neuer Fahrzeuge mit Verbrennungsmotoren (ICE) ab 2025 zu unterlassen.
The sale of fossil vehicle fuels and fossil electricity will be prohibited by 2030. This policy assures that only renewable energy will be used in mobility and provides an additional incentive for people to avoid purchasing new ICE vehicles prior to 2025.
A prohibition on the sale of fossil-based light vehicle fuels will aid the decarbonization of road traffic and support the transition to electric cars. The ban of fossil electricity assures that electric mobility will be fueled exclusively with renewable energies. Thus, the CO2 intensity of electric vehicles will be reduced drastically (PSI, 2018). As we describe in Policy 2.7, sales of new ICE vehicles will cease in 2025. Five years later, a prohibition on the sale of fossil fuel will go into effect.
For heavy vehicles and industrial and agricultural vehicles, there are no technological alternatives to liquid fuels yet. Thus, waste based as well as biofuels and synthetic fuels from renewable energy sources that have proved at least a 50% reduction on GHG, will be used for such vehicles. This is an interim solution until other technologies such as hydrogen-powered or heavy BEV that achieve higher GHG reductions are available on the market. We expect that the price of the fuels for the interim solution will raise the demand and speed up the development of these better alternatives (hydrogen and BE).
The result of this policy will provide an additional incentive for people to avoid purchasing new ICE vehicles before 2025. It will also result in an accelerated retirement of ICE vehicles still on the road in 2029. It can be predicted that the cost of non-biogenic synthetic fuels (from renewable energy sources) will be quite high, making it unattractive. Hence, an innovation friendly competition of different powertrain and energy carrier technologies is established.
Renewable energy has a higher price than fossil energy. Thus, to manage the shift from fossil to renewable energy in the mobility sector, the stakeholder may for example use levies on their fossil fuel or electricity to subsidize renewable energy. Therefore, mobility will become more expansive.
This policy will accelerate the transition to electric cars and fossil-free fuels. Moreover, the transport sector has to become more efficient and find alternative transportation systems than heavy vehicles, since these fuels will be more expensive. Furthermore, with the shift towards renewable energies, more than 70% of the CO2 emissions are reduced.
It is expected that the acceptance for a shift from fossil to renewable energy in the mobility sector is high, because the pure energy costs are low, and the individual mobility or specific applications are not prohibited. Only CO2 emissions are prohibited.
However, the accelerated phase-out of ICE vehicles will have a negative consequence for people purchasing new ICE vehicles in the final years they are available. However, by announcing this in 2021, the effects will be mitigated, as it will allow car buyers to avoid this consequence by purchasing a BE vehicle even as ICE vehicles are available. The ICE cars bought before the policy is put in place will have to run on alternative fuels beyond 2030.
Questions and Uncertainties
The synthetic fuels for heavy vehicles need to be produced from renewable energy sources. Moreover, the factories to produce synthetic fuels still have to be built and further developed.
Massnahme 2.7: Verbot für den Verkauf von neuen Fahrzeugen mit Verbrennungsmotoren
Ab 2025 wird es verboten sein, neue leichte Fahrzeuge (< 3,5t) mit Verbrennungsmotoren (ICE) zu verkaufen. Schwere Fahrzeuge mit ICE werden ab 2030 verboten sein, unterstützt durch ein Kontingentsystem ab 2025.
In Switzerland, by 2025, light vehicles (weighing less than 3.5t) with internal combustion engines (ICE) will be banned from the market. It will be prohibited to sell new vehicles with ICE. Heavy vehicles (>3.5t) with ICE will be banned by 2030, supported by an interim quota system starting in 2025.
The sale of new internal combustion engines, including hybrid electric (HEV), plug-hybrid electric (PHEV) light vehicles and buses with ICE, will be prohibited. This policy is going into effect in 2025; this would match the timing of a similar sales prohibition in Norway and allows for further market developments of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the next five years. Nowadays, BE vehicles already cost only slightly more than comparably equipped gasoline cars, with total ownership costs that are already lower. The high-speed charging network is being rapidly developed, making it currently possible, for example, to drive from Zurich to Geneva, take a half-hour break, and return to Zurich.
In contrast, 2025 is probably too soon to mandate an end to the sale of heavy diesel vehicles, first because the market for electric local heavy vehicles has developed more slowly. Second, for heavy long-distance vehicles, there is still technological uncertainty concerning choices between batteries, fuel cells, and overhead wires, since the sector has to date developed far more slowly. For these reasons, the technology prohibition on new heavy ICE vehicles should go into effect in 2030, rather than 2025 as with light vehicles. Because 2030 may be too far in the future to stimulate immediate investment, it should be supplemented with an interim quota. Starting in 2025, each company selling heavy vehicles would have to sell at least 10% of those vehicles that are either battery-electric or hydrogen-powered. The quota would rise by 10% each year, reaching 50% by 2029, and then jump to 100% in 2030.
This policy leads to low-costs for the government. The consumers need to put up with higher vehicle prices. However, the combined sale, operating, and repair costs of BE are already lower than for ICE cars.
Passenger cars are responsible for 75% of the domestic CO2 emissions of the mobility sector. On average, passenger cars in Switzerland will be exported or turned into scrap after 14 or 15 years of driving. Hence, after this period, the vehicle fleet will be mostly renewed. Moreover, a functioning circular economy for batteries and vehicles must be established by 2030.
The most substantial current barrier to electric car diffusion turns out to be the limited availability of overnight residential charging. People who rent their parking space, or park their car on the street, face a significant convenience barrier, and so far have been extremely reluctant to purchase electric vehicles (Marc A. Melliger, Vliet, and Liimatainen 2018). However, with less ICE on the roads, traffic noise will be substantially reduced and promotes the quality of life.
Massnahme 2.8 : Verbot von schweren und übermotorisierten Personenwagen
Verringerung der Anzahl grosser SUVs und übermotorisierter Personenwagen durch eine Begrenzung des Leergewichts und der maximalen Leistung auf 1.5 t bzw. 100 kW.
Reduce the number of large SUVs and overpowered passenger cars by limiting curb weight and maximum power to values of 1.5t and 100kW.
Progress in fuel consumption of passenger cars often is at least partly compensated by heavier vehicles with more powerful powertrains. Moreover, comparing the new registered Swiss and European vehicle fleets, we see a difference in 20% standard CO2 emissions. This gap reflects the more reasonable motorization of European passenger cars. To stop this development, curb weight and maximum power of passenger cars in Switzerland will be limited to reasonable values, e.g. 1.5 t and 100 kW. This still allows companies to build mid-size passenger cars, family vans but reduces the number of large SUVs. Such vehicles should only be allowed with a special permission and a corresponding additional CO2 reduction measure.
The amount of gCO2/km of newly purchased cars in Switzerland will be substantially reduced.
Since, mid-size passenger cars and family vans can still be built there are no restrictions for bigger cars if needed
Massnahme 2.9: Umweltlenkungsabgabe und Strassennutzungsgebühr
Eine Strassennutzungsgebühr wird individuell abhängig vom Fahrzeuggewicht und der gefahrenen Kilometer erhoben. Die Gebühren sollen die fehlenden Einnahmen aus der Benzin- und Dieselsteuer beim Umstieg auf Elektromobilität ausgleichen.
The current gasoline and diesel tax will be supplemented by a road-use-tax. Annually, this tax will be levied individually, based on vehicle weight and kilometers driven.
Currently, taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel provide the funds for road construction and maintenance, whereas electric vehicles pay virtually no tax. There will be a major revenue shortfall with the switch to electric mobility.
Hence, we propose a road-use tax, based on vehicle weight and kilometers driven per year, and phased in over five years, from 2022 to 2027. It is to be collected each year and enforced through the regular vehicle inspections for both electric and the remaining ICE vehicles. To match an adequate cost of car driving, the tax should be based on the cost of building and maintaining road infrastructure (which will significantly decrease due to the moratorium on infrastructure (Policy 1.1), suspension of federal road construction (Policy 2.5) and a general shift in transportation) and the external costs of driving an electric vehicle, i.e. from the particulate matter coming from tire wear, and from added congestion. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment will assess these costs.
On top of the road-use tax, an environmental steering levy would be raised, for fossil-based gasoline and diesel vehicles (including boats and ships). This environmental steering levy is intended to aid in this transition and set a monetary incentive to reduce fossil fuel usage. The price of the steering levy is aligned with the cross-sectoral GHG pricing (see Policy 1.2). Hence, in 2021 the price will be at around CHF 120 per ton emitted CO2eq and will then increase gradually by CHF 45 per year to reach CHF 525 in 2030.
One additional benefit of the road-use tax is that it will avoid the so-called “fueling-tourism”, whereby Swiss drivers go to neighboring countries to fill their tanks. Fuel prices will be comparable, since the proposed environmental tax will at most match the road-tax on fuels in neighboring countries, removing the incentive to cross the border for fuel.
The road-use tax will fund the maintenance of the road network, in continuation with the current gasoline tax. The revenues of the environmental steering levy will be used to finance other climate mitigation measures or be redistributed to the population and the economy. Regions would receive different sums, depending on their potential for adaptation. Hence, rural and mountainous areas would receive higher rebates (Filippini and Heimsch 2015).
An environmental tax on its own is likely to do little to halt the growth in light vehicle use, as we know that demand is highly inelastic (Havranek, Irsova, and Janda 2012). Therefore, the tax is supplemented by other policies making the alternatives to light vehicles use even more attractive than they are now.
Anyone driving an ICE is affected by this policy. Moreover, people living in rural regions and in the alps are substantially affected, since there are less alternatives to substitute cars (Filippini and Heimsch 2015).
Massnahme 2.10: Verringerung der Anzahl von Hauslieferdiensten und Verlagerung auf Fahrräder
Die LSVA und PSVA wird nicht nur auf schwere Fahrzeuge, sondern auf alle motorisierten Zustellfahrzeuge angewendet. So wird die Anzahl der Zustellfahrzeuge begrenzt und Gruppenverteilungen gefördert. Es wird eine fixe Zustellgebühr von 15 CHF pro Sendung gelten. Ausgenommen sind Lieferungen per Velo.
Between 2000 and 2018, the number of motorized delivery vehicles has increased by 65%. In comparison, the number of heavy trucks has decreased by 2% (FSO 2018). The main reasons for the growth in delivery vehicles are an increase in home delivery and the low taxes for these vehicles. In order to limit the number of delivery vehicles, we suggest applying LSVA and PSVA (Heavy vehicle charges) not only to heavy vehicles but to all motorized delivery vehicles.
Moreover, we introduce a fixed delivery tax of 15 CHF for each consignment. This policy will decrease the number of consignments and encourage group distributions. Furthermore, this policy tackles single article deliveries and unnecessary consumption, if free delivery after a certain price is the case. However, companies are freed from this tax, if they deliver goods by bike and partially freed if they deliver with alternative GHG neutral means of transport.
The revenues should be used for other policies such as improving public transport or subventions for GHG free delivery services.
This policy will reduce the number of deliveries and encourage grouping deliveries. It will discourage single item orders. Furthermore, it will encourage customers and companies to group the deliveries and not send article per article. This will reduce the overall traffic and pollution created by delivery vehicles that have been drastically increasing in the past years.
Massnahme 2.11: Begrenzung des Pendlerabzugs
Eine Reduzierung des Pendlerlabzugs mit gleichzeitiger Förderung des Fuss- und Veloverkehrs sowie der öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel.
A reduction of the commuter deduction (dt. Pendlerabzug) to a maximum of 2000 Swiss Francs coupled with a faveolization of foot and bike by 2022, as a clear sign that commuting in general but especially by private car will be less fostered.
In 2017 52% of all commuters in Switzerland have been using a private car (31% public transport, 15% bike or foot) (FSO 2019b). The choice of where to work and where to live is a personal one, influenced by personal preferences but also the affordability of housing, tax levels and reachability of working place. Wrong incentives need to be removed. The cost of mobility is assumed to play a role regarding the choice of how far to live from work for some people. Keeping the current situation on the apartment renting market in mind (high prices in city centers), people with low income face lower flexibility in terms of choosing where to live. Some can simply not afford, living e.g. in city centers. This problem needs to be tackled (see social compatibility).
Swiss people said yes to “FABI” (dt. Finanzierung und Ausbau der Bahninfrastruktur), this led to a limitation of tax deduction for commuting. Since 2016 there is a limitation at 3000 CHF of costs to plead in the tax declaration concerning federal tax. The regulations in the cantons vary strongly. This was a first step, but it does not go far enough. As a basic principle all incentives for a spatial separation of work and life need to be eliminated. From 2022 on the commuter deduction will be limited to a maximum of 2000 Swiss Francs per person and year in federal and cantonal tax. A general deduction of 1000 Swiss Francs can be made anyhow, another 1000 Swiss Francs can only be deducted if at least 80 percent of the ways to and from work have been by foot or bike. Walking and biking are climate-wise the most favorable ways of transport. The introduction of an additional deduction of 1000 CHF supports a climate-conscious choice for the journey to and from work. In order to claim this deduction a standardized confirmation of the employer confirming that the employee has at least 80% of the time chosen to walk or bike to work, is sufficient.
There will be a significant amount of additional tax revenues as overall less commuter deduction can be claimed. Tax revenues from people with high incomes, which will be used in order to support people with low income using public transportation (see social compatibility).
People living closer to where they work are rewarded, as well as the ones using foot or bike. Long ways to work will no longer be subsidized. Wrong incentives are eliminated. It can be expected that people tend to prefer working closer to where they live. This measure is expected to reduce emissions from commuting.
The deduction in the form of a fixed sum, leads to the situation that lower incomes profit more from the possibility to deduct commuting costs than people with high incomes. The abolition of this social balancing mechanism would need to be compensated elsewhere.
Today different exceptions for the use of a private motorized vehicle are granted (no public transportation, time gain of more than 90 minutes a day, use on demand of employer, public transport not possible due to illness or frailty (medical certificate). The possibility to deduct the full 2000 Swiss Francs will only be given for the exception of someone not being able to use a bike or walk to work (medical certificate) all other reasons drop out.
Massnahme 2.12: Höchstgeschwindigkeiten herabsetzen
Je schneller man fährt, desto mehr Energie wird pro Kilometer verbraucht. Eine Reduzierung der erlaubten Höchstgeschwindigkeiten ist deshalb eine günstige und sofort wirksame Massnahme.
A reduction of maximum speed in Swiss road traffic law by 2021 will lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per km driven and changing mobility behaviors.
No other measure has an effect as immediate as this, is as cheap as this and bears such big potential for a reduction of CO2-emissions. The faster one drives, the more greenhouse gas is emitted. The air drag does not increase linearly but quadratic. This means the faster one drives, the more energy is needed. By a simple measure of reducing maximum speed, less GHG is emitted. The maximum speed will be reduced as following:
- Highway: 90 km/h (today 120 km/h)
- Motorway: 80 km/h (today 100 km/h)
- Rural: 70 km/h (today 80 km/h)
- Urban: 30 km/h (today 50 km/h)
This takes an adjustment of signalization, especially based on Art. 108 Abs 2 lit.d SSV (SR 741.21) respectively possible adjustments of legal fundamentals (SVG SR 741.01, SSV SR 741.21, VRV SR 741.11). It must be implemented for roads on all levels: federal, cantonal and communal.
Reducing maximum speed has not only the direct impact of less GHG per km driven, but also leads to a change in mobility behaviors. Over time, ways got longer, because moving around got easier and faster. The reason for this is an increase of travel speed due to the extension of road and rail infrastructure. Whilst travel time stayed the same, people cover longer distances. Meaning that people tend to live further away from their place of work and leisure. Lowering maximum speed is expected to reverse this effect.
Finally, lower maximum speed leads to more safety, meaning less and less severe accidents, less noise and traffic flows more smoothly therefore traffic jams and stop and go situations will be avoided.
Potential savings due to obsolete noise remediation and the reduction of economic damages regarding health (e.g., noise, fine dust), accidents, and deaths outweigh the cost of re-signaling by far.
People can be expected to change their behavior in the short and in the long run. In areas with a high flexibility such as leisure and shopping people will tend to look for proximal alternatives soon, place of living and working will take more time to adjust. There will directly be savings in the fuel consumption and lower GHG-emissions. Numbers of accidents, noise levels can be expected to decrease. A change of the modal split in favor of foot, bike and public transport can be expected. Existing infrastructure will be used more efficiently, with lower speed. The impact is complex, as the effects are complex. A mix of direct effects (less speed) and indirect effects (primary and secondary induced traffic) is expected. To give a number, a study by Pfleiderer and Braun (2012) found that in western Germany, new roads are leading to an increase of traffic by 1% each year, since the system gets faster. It might not seem like a lot, but over the years this number accumulates.
This policy is socially fair: no one has a financial advantage and the additional cost in time is distributed equally, everyone’s day has 24 hours.
The attractiveness of centers, and urban spaces might increase, due to higher costs of commuting. The pressure in the housing market needs to be well addressed by politics. A shift to public transport is expected, as well as people moving to closer places, which leads to more pressure on the housing market in places with a high density of working spaces.
Massnahme 2.13: Ein Autofreier Tag pro Monat
Der direkte Einfluss eines autofreien Tages pro Monat auf die gesamten CO2-Emissionen ist gering. Aber der autofreie Tag bricht Mobilitätsroutinen auf und ermöglicht es den Menschen, andere Formen der Mobilität zu erfahren.
One car-free day per month, breaks up mobility-routines.
By introducing one car-free day per month people get the possibility to break up their routines and explore other forms of mobility. A different mobility culture can be experienced, as a regular private car user, but also as a non-car driver. State, canton and communities should start to implement this together in 2021. Car-free days are rather a sign, as their direct influence on overall CO2-emissions are low. However, it is important to show that it is not only possible, but in many terms more convenient and favorable to use other means of transport. In combination with promotions for public transport, or free use of bike sharing offers, people get the possibility to get to know alternatives better. The first hurdle can easily be overcome and the way to make it a habit is open. The experience is being expected to be more positive on a Sunday and rather stressful on a working day. Therefore, it is favorable to start with one car-free Sunday a month.
While we predict a minor emissions reduction, this policy mainly aims to change people’s mindset and convey the possibility of a different future.
Massnahme 2.14 : Ausbaustopp der Rheinhäfen in Basel
Der Ausbau des Hafenbecken 3 in Basel-Stadt soll gestoppt werden. 86% der dort umgeschlagenen Güter (fossile Brennstoffe, Erze, Steine, Erden und Konsumgütern) sind mit einer klimaneutralen Gesellschaft nicht vereinbar.
The expansion of the trimodal port basin 3 in Basel-Stadt should not be pursued further. In Basel, the construction of a new, trimodal terminal is planned, which will enable the container shipment ship-road-railway. The need for such a terminal is based on the assumption that container traffic to Switzerland will double by 2030 (Gateway Basel Nord AG, 2020). The Rhine ports will mainly be used for importing goods into Switzerland (FOC 2016), whereby logistics "is a growth industry due to the increasing international division of labor" (Canton Basel-Stadt 2020). The expansion of the port of Basel is also described as necessary in connection with the Rotterdam-Genoa axis, whereby the expansion of this axis serves in particular the goal of "promoting international competitiveness" (CODE24, 2014). The trimodal terminal will primarily serve road-rail transshipment and will therefore also take over the functions of the Limmattal gateway, which was once planned without a port connection.
For various reasons, the expansion is not compatible with climate neutrality by 2030 and must therefore be stopped by the project sponsors:
- It is justified with increasing (global) freight transport. However, this is fossil-fueled; it does not make sense to expand the range of services by expanding the infrastructure, since only this will create the conditions for further long-distance (shipping) traffic. Moreover, the existing port facilities have reserves, including in the container area, as the situation due to the low water of the Rhine and the discontinuation of shipping in 2018 shows.
- The main goods handled today are fossil fuels (56%), ores, stones, earths (18%) and consumer goods (12%) - together this makes up 86% (FOC 2016). None of these industries would lead us to expect large increases in transshipment volumes in a climate-neutral society. On the contrary, the production of (consumer) goods needs to be reduced rather than expanded, for example through more durable and socially actually relevant products; at the very least, the increasing production of short-lived consumer goods does not justify an expansion of the Rhine port infrastructure. Also, the (consumer) production of goods is more likely to be relocalized (short distances; climate workshops, etc.) rather than stimulated by global transport.
- In terms of volume, imports dominate exports in the Rhine ports by far. However, it has declined in the period 1998 to 2015(FOC 2016).
- Even the construction itself would be extremely concrete-intensive, without any climate policy urgency. There is no climate impact assessment with regard to the CO2 reduction paths required (see Policy 3.9).
- A no-committee points out further reasons against the trimodal terminal. (Committee No to Port Basin 3 2020).
Stopping the planning would mean that large sums of money could be used socially where they would have an effect on climate policy.
No expansion of capacities for the import of global goods handled by ship. CO2 effect cannot be clearly defined; but the principle should be fairly fixed: Infrastructure for global transport enables and entails it
No conflicts. However, the Basel-Stadt urban development project (port and urban development) will not be able to be implemented in (essential) parts.
Questions and Uncertainties
The policy is already addressed by the moratorium on new infrastructure. Since this is an ongoing process, which is being conducted by the project managers with the arguments of a shift of freight traffic to rail and ship, as well as the expansion in favor of a "sustainable" shipping infrastructure, the policy is explicitly addressed here.
Massnahme 2.15: Umwelt- und Sozialstandards für Schiffsimporte
Einführung klarer Umwelt- und Sozialstandards für per Schiff importierte Güter.
The introduction of clear standards for embarked goods lead to an exclusion of goods being imported to Switzerland that have been transported by ships being either environmentally or socially unjustifiable.
Switzerland has little impact on the companies that operate cargo ships, as environmental and social standards of that country apply under which flag a ship is run (Delestrac 2016). By introducing clear standards for ships that unload at the “Rheinhäfen” in Basel it is possible to make sure there are no goods imported to Switzerland in a way that do not correlate with what needs to be respected as a minimum. The standards need to include at least: environmental requirements for the ships and practices on the ship, social standards for the workforce (salary, working hours, etc.). The standards for shipping imports need to be defined and need to pass through the political processes, in order to be set in place the latest in the year 2025.
Moreover some standards need to be apply on the age and condition of the ships, some studies show that new technology could save 30 40% energy
Consumers may pay higher prices for regulated goods. Enforcement of the standards is financed within running state budgets.
Unethical and environmental damaging practices in shipping will be banned as far as possible from Switzerland. This practice might be used as a role model for an introduction in other countries.
The workers on cargo ships will gain as they profit from better working conditions.
Questions and Uncertainties
If necessary, in addition, Research and Development for the design, building and operation of environmentally-friendly ships could be supported by the state.
Massnahme 2.16: Regulierung motorisierter Boote und Schiffe für private, öffentliche und kommerzielle Nutzung
Für motorisierte Boote wird eine Lenkungsabgabe erhoben, analog zu der Massnahme bezüglich den Personenwagen (Massnahme 2.6 - 2.8). Der Verkauf neuer Verbrennungsmotoren wird ab 2025 verboten sein und fossile Brennstoffe werden bis 2030 vom Markt verschwinden.
The steering levy is applied for boat as for car (Policy 2.9) and a ban on ICE boats is also applied (Policy 2.7). Boats not using energy carriers (wind and human powered boats) need to be preferred as well as boats powered by non-CO2 emission technology (e.g. electricity or hydrogen).
Massnahme 2.17 : Obergrenze für in die Schweiz importierte Tonnen
Die Menge der importierten Produkte, die zum grössten Teil über Wasser transportiert werden, ist dramatisch angestiegen. Das Ziel dieser Massnahme ist es, die Menge der importierten Waren und damit die Emissionen und den Überkonsum zu reduzieren.
The quantity of imported products increased dramatically. The million tons of loaded trade has been multiplied by more than 18 in the last 40 years (Figure 2‑5). The category with the most imports is “consumer goods”. Most of these goods are transported overseas and have a significant climate impact.
The goal of this policy would be to stop the increased quantity of imported goods and lower this cap years after years to reduce (and at least not increase) the emission produced to transport these products and reduce overconsumption.
No financing required
This policy will impact consumers and companies that will need reduce their consumptions.
Questions and Uncertainties
The implementation of this policy might be tricky. There should be a priority on goods that are judged as essential. Moreover, since many parties are involved, it might be challenging to implement.
Massnahme 2.18 : Auferlegung von Standards für Schiffe, die zu Schweizer Unternehmen gehören
Unethische und umweltschädliche Praktiken in der Schifffahrt werden von den in der Schweiz ansässigen Schifffahrtsunternehmen so weit wie möglich unterbunden.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second biggest shipping company is based in Switzerland (headquarters in Geneva). However, the standards imposed on its ships are not swiss or European standards but standards of the country in which the ships are registered. In the global shipping network, most of the ships are registered under so-called “flag states” or “flag of compliance” (e.g Panama), states that allow lower standards on ship inspection, certification and issuance of safety and pollution (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2020; Swiss Ships 2020; Alphaliner 2020; MSC 2020).
No financing required
Unethical and environmental damaging practices in shipping will be banned as far as possible from shipping companies based in Switzerland. This practice might be used as a role model for an introduction in other countries.
Questions and Uncertainties
There is a risk that MSC change its headquarters to another country but it could be seen as an example so other countries apply the same legislation for shipping companies with headquarters in there countries. Moreover, we do not want to encourage this kind of practice by allowing such companies to pay low taxes without respecting ethical values.
Massnahme 2.19: Keine Subventionen und Steuervergünstigungen für die Luftfahrt
Heute gilt eine Befreiung von der Mehrwertsteuer für internationale Flüge und für die meisten luftfahrtbezogenen Dienstleistungen. Flugtreibstoffe sind von der Mineralölsteuer und der CO2-Abgabe befreit und viele Flugplätze werden mit staatlichen Mitteln finanziert. Alle diese Steuerbefreiungen und Subventionen müssen sofort gestrichen werden.
There is a general VAT (MWST/TVA/IVA) exemption for international flights and for most aviation-related services, including food and other suppliers (ESTV 2016). Moreover, unlike car fuels, aviation fuels are mostly exempt from the petroleum tax, which means a tax break of about 1.7 billion CHF annually (Poletti 2018)(EZV 2018). And a part of the tax income collected is even used to subsidize aviation (BAZL 2016). Furthermore, aviation is exempt from the CO2-levy.
The department of defense (DDPS / VBS) finances many airfields, even those it no longer uses (Die Bundesversammlung 2019b). These tax exemptions and subsidies go against the Climate goals and provide an unfair advantage for aviation over alternative modes of transportation.
As a first and immediate measure, all such tax exemptions and subsidies must be cut immediately. Small airports not profitable without funding from the state such as Bern Belp, Lugano Agno and Altenrhein will be closed. The additional tax income should in part be invested in alternatives to aviation (Policy 2.28) and the development of renewable energy projects and the shift to synthetic fuels (Policy 2.20).
The VAT rate is 7.7% but might only apply to a part of current ticket costs (some fees might be excluded). Petroleum tax is 739.50 CHF per 1000 L kerosene. CO2-levy is CHF 96 per ton CO2.
For example, a flight from Zurich to New York with Swiss can cost CHF 1628, of which 1594 are taxable in principle, implying CHF 122 VAT. Per passenger, it consumes 132 L of kerosene, implying a petroleum tax of CHF 98. It emits 334 kg of CO2, meaning a CO2-levy of CHF 32. Hence, without these three fiscal exemptions the ticket would cost CHF 1880 instead of CHF 1628, which is 15% more. Some studies assume a price elasticity of flying at -1, others estimate that for low-cost transatlantic flying the value is higher.
Hence stripping these three fiscal exemptions would decrease the amount of flying between Zurich and New York between 5% to 15% (Leandros 2019).
The VAT is a regressive tax, and so are the current petroleum tax and the CO2-levy. They are all flat-rate taxes on consumption and as such hit lower-income individuals stronger, because they spend a higher share of their income than higher-income individuals. Hence the social effects of stripping these tax breaks would be slightly adverse. Therefore, to counterbalance, the measures needed to achieve additional reductions in flying must target higher-income individuals. These could be, for instance, progressive taxes.
Massnahme 2.20: Alternativer Kraftstoff / Synthetischer Kraftstoff aus erneuerbarer Energie
Ab 2025 muss 10% des Flugtreibstoffs, der in der Schweiz in Flugzeuge gesteckt wird, synthetisch und aus erneuerbaren Energien hergestellt sein. Diese Quote wird sich bis 2030 von jährlich 25% auf 100% erhöhen.
For the next decades, synthetic fuels made from renewable energy are the most promising to make aviation clean. While the technology is being developed and tested already, synthetic fuels will only be available at sufficient quantities around 2040. With a fuel quota the fossil fuels will gradually be replaced with synthetic fuels. Only synthetic fuel is allowed after 2030.
In the long-term, aviation must become emissions-free. Currently, aviation relies entirely on fossil kerosene. This means a total shift to renewable energy sources is required and a way to apply the energy in airplanes.
Battery electric planes face a fundamental challenge in the very low energy density (by weight) of batteries. While prototypes already exist, expert interviews suggest that battery electric planes are unlikely to be certified for commercial flights exceeding 500 km by 2040 (ICAO, n.d.). Hydrogen, by contrast, has a high energy density by weight, but an extremely low density by volume. A hydrogen fuel cell plane would need to look very different, with a very large hydrogen tank. Technically this is realistic, but the fact remains that there are currently no commercial prototypes and reaching a level of technological maturity for hydrogen planes so that they could begin to be used commercially would require at least 20 – 30 years.
For the next decades, synthetic fuels are the most promising. Currently, there are two technologies for synthetic fuel production: power-to-liquid and heat conversion. Power-to-liquid converts renewable electricity such as from solar and wind to split H2O and captured CO2 molecules. Heat conversion relies on concentrated solar thermal energy to split the molecules. Power-to-liquid is more mature and may currently cost as little CHF 2 per liter. Heat conversion is new, but more efficient because it avoids conversion to electricity and expensive electrolysis. While initial costs may be at CHF 2-10, it is likely to become the less expensive option within the decade, with projected fuel costs of roughly CHF 1 per liter. For comparison, jet fuel currently costs CHF 0.60 without taxes. The first two demonstration facilities have gone online in 2019, and one Swiss-based startup (Synhelion, based in Lugano) is planning the first commercial-scale demonstration plant to be ready by 2023 (Synhelion, n.d.).(Detz, Reek, and van der Zwaan (2018) discuss various synthetic fuels and their projected price. ZENID, another startup, plans to produce 500k liters synthetic fuel annually by 2030, at a price of about CHF 1.50.
Both Power-to-liquid and heat conversion technologies require large amounts of land for renewable energy collection, although far less land than would be required for comparable volumes of biofuels, or forest carbon offsetting. In the case of heat conversion, the ideal production sites would be in semi-arid or arid environments, where sunlight is stronger and there is less competition with agriculture and biodiversity. In other words, one should not view synthetic fuel production as something that would necessarily take place on Swiss soil.
The main challenge for carbon-neutral flying, then, is to stimulate investment in synthetic fuel production, making possible a complete phase-out of fossil-based jet fuel. It is unlikely that this can happen by 2030, simply because of the investment volumes needed, although 2040 would be realistic though ambitious, but not ridiculous. The current cost of synthetic fuel is also too high to be incentivized with an environmental tax. To stimulate such investment, then, the ideal policy instrument would be a rising fuel quota. Beginning in 2025, 10% of aviation fuel put into planes in Switzerland would need to be synthetic, and this would scale 25% a year to 100% by 2030. By 2030, it will be virtually impossible to produce enough synthetic fuel to keep up even with today's kerosene quantities. Hence, the quota will inevitably force a reduction in aviation until the production quantities scale up. This puts a strong incentive on the aviation industry to quickly develop and scale up synthetic fuel production.
A fundamental requirement is that the energy for fuel synthesis must be 100% renewable. To prevent competition for renewable energy with other sectors, new energy plants have to be built especially for aviation. Further, because the fuel synthesis is not yet at a commercial scale, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty about reachable quantities and prices over the next decades. But given the low initial percentage, the price should not be too strongly affected, and the fixed quota will give some planning certainty and encourage quick investment.
Mostly, the changes must be financed by the aviation industry, which will be paid through the tickets by the consumer. To accelerate the development of fuel synthesis, some of the aviation taxes can be used, but only for research purposes. We advise against a subsidy; the quota provides enough incentive.
This policy is the only long-term solution that allows aviation while being carbon neutral. Further, synthetic fuels are cleaner, they have fewer impurities because they can be made to be pure hydrocarbon with less particulate matter. While there is significant uncertainty, this could lead to about half as much cloud formation and thus reduce the non-CO2 heating effects.
Since it is a long-term strategy and the technology will not be available on large enough of a scale by 2030, other measures and policies are required. In fact, it is hard to meet the required quota without reducing aviation.
It is fundamental to only allow renewable energy for the synthesis and only allow new energy plants that do not compete with energy production for other sectors. If renewable energy is only shifted from another sector and the other sector then relies more on fossil fuels, the impact of this policy is compromised.
The cost of flying will increase, but since flying is mostly a luxury and not a need, this is justified given the enormous emissions of aviation with conventional fuels This policy is currently the most promising path to clean aviation, even if very ambitious.
Questions and Uncertainties
Since the technology for synthetic fuels is only just now ready for tests and will take years to be scaled up to commercial levels, it is possible that there will be delays or failures. For a net-zero path, aviation has to be included, even if zero-emissions technology is not available as fast as 2040. Thus, should the technology not be available in the required quantity or fail completely, then aviation has to be reduced or stopped accordingly.
Massnahme 2.21: Besteuerung der Luftfahrt / Vielfliegerabgabe
Diese Massnahme besteuert schrittweise die Emissionen über einen Zeitraum von vier Jahren. Damit soll Vielfliegerei unterbunden werden. Die Einnahmen werden in die Forschung zur Herstellung synthetischer Kraftstoffe oder der Finanzierung anderer klimafreundlichen Verkehrsmittel investiert.
We discuss multiple ways for taxation in aviation. This policy taxes tons of CO2 progressively, over a 4-year period. The purpose is to discourage frequent-flyers which are often the one less affected by raise of prices and to use these revenues for research on synthetic fuel production.
Price mechanisms such as a tax make sense if one wants to achieve a slight reduction in demand or raise revenue. The more inelastic the demand, the less effect a tax can achieve. Generally, one needs high tax rates to have even a small impact on demand. Taxing fossil fuels alone would not be a sufficient measure to make the transition to synthetic fuels, as they are significantly more expensive. But a CO2 tax could at least make sure the price of flying better reflects the environmental costs. Further, it could raise revenue to be invested in renewable energy generation or other transportation infrastructure projects that would both lower environmental impact and benefit the population.
A flat tax has several shortcomings. Most flights are due to a small, rich and privileged percentage of the population, which will hardly be persuaded to fly less by such a tax. Unless of course the tax is massive, in which case, low- and middle-class people would be totally cut off from flying.
A Frequent Flyer Levy (FFL) (Fellow travellers, n.d.) or Air Miles Levy (AML) (Carmichael 2019)( progressively tax the number of flights (FFL) or total distance flown (AML) over multiple years. Exponentially taxing the amount of flights (FFL) reduces the number of launches which are especially fuel-intensive and can encourage choosing the train instead of a short-haul flight. Progressively taxing the total distance flown (AML) encourages people to choose closer destinations for holidays for example. The distance flown is directly related to emissions, therefore AML is more closely related to pollution than FFL. The tax is set over multiple years since one should fly at most once every few years, once a year is already too much. It goes without saying that the loyalty programs (air miles) will be prohibited.
We propose to measure emissions e in CO2 equivalent (tons), based on CO2 and non-CO2 factors, over a 4-year period. The tax is calculated per flight and added to the ticket price. The tax is determined as c*e*(e+1)/2 CHF. In the first 4-year period, let c=60, and increase it to 120 and 180 in the following periods. For reference, a return trip to New York produces about e=2 tons CO2eq, London about e=0.4 tons. A single NY trip would result in a 180 CHF tax, two trips 600 CHF, and three trips 1260 CHF. Note, that business and first-class seats produce more emissions and are thus taxed proportionally more than economy flights. In fact, business-class has about double the impact and first class three times that of an economy flight (myclimate, n.d.).
Compatibility with other policies: If taken in conjunction with an emissions cap policy (Policy 2.22)[MN1] , this policy only has to target frequent flyers. Without a cap policy, taxation may also have to limit the total amount of aviation emissions. This means the coefficient for the tax, c in the above equation, has to be adjusted every four-year period to reach a set goal. The tax may have to be much higher if it has to do all the heavy lifting of reducing demand. The target path is to reduce 10% of current yearly emissions by 2025, stepwise reach zero emission by 2030. Beyond 2030, only flights with synthetic fuel are allowed. It is important to measure emissions before any compensation measures. The goal has to be to make aviation zero-emissions in itself, or very close to it. Given the limitations and uncertainties of compensation technologies, we cannot rely on them.
Even today, people have to provide their passport-id when booking a flight. In addition, BAZL will have to keep a database with passport-ids and accumulate the emissions for each person. Then the tax can be calculated and added with the sale of each ticket automatically. This data has to be handled carefully to protect privacy, the database should store the minimal data necessary and only provide the current emission e of a passenger to the airlines for the calculation.
This policy will pay for its own overhead first. With the income, research and development of alternative propulsion (Policy 2.20) should be supported, and also alternative modes of transportation (Policy 2.28).
This policy allows to steer the amount of reductions through the coefficient for taxation. The impact can hence increase every four-year period. Its purpose is to tackle the disproportionally high environmental impact of the frequent flyers. It will reflect the unsustainable nature of a frequent flyer lifestyle in a financial manner.
This measure does not tax people going on a “once in a lifetime” trip very much. It would still be affordable to go on a trip every 4 years. The goal is to make flying exceptional, certainly as long as it creates unsustainable levels of emissions. There may be serious resistance from frequent flyers, but we expect that to be a rather small group, and the demand for frequent flying is not justifiable until zero-emission technology is available. Further, the tax is raised gradually, leaving frequent-flyers some time to adapt.
Massnahme 2.22: Emissionsobergrenze
Eine absolute Höchstgrenze für die Emissionen des Luftfahrtsektors wird festgelegt, um eine direkte Emissionsreduktion zu gewährleisten.
This policy sets an absolute cap on emissions for the aviation sector and is thus the most direct measure to ensure emissions reduction.
The most direct way to limit aviation emissions, is to set an absolute cap per year and hand out emissions permits. For every flight, the emissions have to be calculated and a corresponding emissions permits obtained. This has to include all types of flights, including airlines, charter flights and private jets. We envision an emissions path of a 10% reduction by 2025 and stepwise reaching zero by 2030.
There are multiple ways to hand out emissions permits. First, they could simply be proportionally distributed to airports based on current emissions, reducing their capacities. The scarcity drives up the ticket prices and will keep up income for the aviation industry despite lower passenger numbers. This may lessen opposition from the aviation industry. Second, the emissions permits could be auctioned by the states to airlines. This means the additional revenue goes to the state and not the aviation industry. These finances should then be used to further alternative propulsion (Policy 2.20) and alternatives to aviation (Policy 2.28).
Compatibility with other Policies
It is important to measure emissions before compensation. If this policy is taken in conjunction with a Frequent Flyers Levy (Policy 2.21), demand may already be reduced slightly and reduce the auction price of emissions permits. This may have the benefit of making flying once every 4 years affordable while more heavily pricing frequent flying. Note that the zero-emission cap by 2030 will effectively only allow planes with synthetic fuel.
This policy has no direct costs, instead it generates revenue which can be used to finance other policy measures.
Emissions are directly controlled; reductions can be calculated in comparison to the projected emissions without the policy.
Ticket prices for flying would increase drastically if the limits are set as low as is necessary. Tickets may become unaffordable for many. However, in conjunction with a strong Frequent Flyers Levy (Policy 2.21), some pressure can be taken away from people flying very rarely and shift it to frequent flyers. To increase the acceptability, accompanying measures such as support for alternatives to aviation (Policy 2.28) should be taken.
Massnahme 2.23: Verbot von Kurzstreckenflügen
Im Jahr 2018 flogen 77% der Fluggäste Ziele in Europa an. Wir schlagen ein sofortiges Flugverbot für Inlandsflüge und alle Flüge vor, die innerhalb von 8 Stunden mit Alternativen des öffentlichen Verkehrs erreichbar sind. Dieser Radius würde sich bis 2030 auf 24 Stunden erhöhen.
In 2018, 77% of air passengers had destinations in Europe, and the most common reasons for flying are time and convenience, but also a lack of alternatives and price play a part (FSO 2019d). Due to low ticket prices, alternatives on the ground such as night trains can hardly compete. While short-haul flights do save some time, the gains are not justified by the disproportionally high emissions, especially since launches make a significant emission contribution to these flights.
We propose an immediate ban of domestic flights and all flights reachable within 8h with alternatives such as public transport (e.g. Zürich-Berlin and Zürich-London). This ban radius should be increased to 16h by 2025 and by 2030 no short-haul flights in the radius of 24h by public transport would be permitted.
Many short-haul flights serve as connecting flights to long-haul flights. Going to an airport further away for long-haul flights makes sense economically but also ecologically, fewer long-haul flights have to be launched. But these connecting trips can also reasonably be taken by ground transport.
A significant amount of flights would not take place, some passengers would choose alternative transportation or avoid less important travel. Given that most flights are to destinations in Europe, the emissions reductions can be projected to be significant once the ban radius is high enough.
In some countries it may be more advantageous to use short-haul electric planes. They may be available around 2030 for distances less than 500 km. This is especially useful in less densely populated countries where the cost and emissions of the infrastructure of other modes of transportation could exceed that of electric planes. However, flying remains very energy intensive even in the case of electrification. This means that they risk displacing other uses for the limited supply of renewable electricity.
The policy is designed to limit emissions without making travel impossible, in fact it only bans flights that are reachable with reasonable alternatives. The ban radius is increased gradually to allow people to adapt and alternatives to be strengthened.
Massnahme 2.24: Verbot von Privatjets und anderen Formen der Luxusfliegerei
Eine durchschnittliche Reise mit einem Privatjet verursacht zweimal so viele Treibhausgasemissionen wie die gleiche Reise mit einem Flug in der Economy-Klasse und etwa 150 Mal mehr als eine entsprechende Reise mit dem Hochgeschwindigkeitszug. Deshalb fordern wir ein sofortiges Verbot von Privatjets und unnötigen Luxusflügen wie Taxi-Flügen oder Heli-Skiing.
Most private jets are smaller than regular passenger planes and, while they each use less fuel, they are less efficient in terms of emissions per transport capacity. Some very rich people even use normal-sized jets with hotel-like furniture for private transportation. Private Jets mostly fly below their passenger capacity and often even empty (Harvey 2019). An average private jet journey within Europe emits 10 times as much greenhouse gases as the same journey made by an economy class flight, and roughly 150 times more than an equivalent high speed train journey (Beevo and Murray, n.d.).
Unlike many other things, no one really needs private jets, in fact only a tiny fraction of the global elite gets to use them.
Therefore, we demand an immediate ban on private jets and expect their current users to switch to airline flights. The goal is to also ask the richest elite to take steps to combat the climate crisis and lower their contribution to it and therefore making the other measures more socially acceptable (Leandros 2019). A few exceptions may be made for non-commercial general aviation services in the public interest.
A similar logic applies to flights with helicopters or propeller machines for personal transportation or recreation. This includes taxi-flights, heli-skiing or flights to move mountain bikes uphill. We consider these flights luxury aviation because they provide services nobody really needs or can easily be substituted by less polluting alternatives. As such they should also be banned. Moreover, beyond climate change considerations, all these flights also produce noise and smog.
The emissions of CO2eq directly saved by this measure might seem marginal, however, put in relation to the low number of people affected, they are very high. Most importantly, enacting this measure would give legitimacy to climate policies that affect larger numbers of people. The indirect impact by virtue of its political messaging is big.
Since only very few are impacted, and only the richest elite, the policy should be very socially acceptable. It also sends a signal that everyone has to adjust, and even more so those with the largest emissions footprint. It is thus compatible with the idea of climate justice and makes the other policies even more socially acceptable.
Massnahme 2.25: Kompensation anderer klimaschädlichen Auswirkungen neben dem CO2-Ausstoss
Bei der Verbrennung in grosser Höhe werden nicht nur CO2, sondern auch kurzlebige Treibhausgase wie Wasserdampf und Partikel aus den Abgasen von Düsenflugzeugen freigesetzt. Um das netto null-Ziel zu erreichen, müssen nach dem Verursacherprinzip ab 2030 auch diese klimawirksamen Emissionen durch negative Emissionen ausgeglichen werden.
As already explained, high-altitude combustion does not just emit CO2 but also short-lived GHG, such as water vapor and particulates from jet exhausts. There is considerable uncertainty as to the magnitude of the heating effect, but it could be as large as the effect of the CO2 emissions. Synthetic fuels can have less particulate matter if they are synthesized to pure hydrocarbon, potentially leading to less cloud formation.
To ensure a net-zero goal, not just the CO2 emissions of fossil kerosene but also the non-CO2 emissions for all aviation must be compensated with negative emissions starting from 2030. A government agency like BAFU or BAZL must calculate what aviation service has to compensate to what levels and the aviation service providers must finance the compensation projects. This will lead to a moderate increase in the ticket prices.
While there are safe ways to store CO2 from the air, there are some concerns with all methods of compensation. Therefore, it is important to rely on compensation as little as possible. In the long-term, compensation should only be used to offset inevitable non-CO2 heating effects in aviation. For a detailed discussion on negative emissions, and the guidelines for compensation within this CAP, we refer to chapter on negative emissions (especially see Policy 7.1).
There are multiple ways to implement financing of compensation: either the aviation service providers need to obtain sufficient negative emissions certificates of sufficient quality, or a tax is raised, and the state takes the funds to buy the certificate or invest in compensation projects.
The instrument internalizes the cost, the ticket prices will rise accordingly.
The CO2 emissions up to 2030 will be compensated and the non-CO2 heating effects offset beyond 2030.
Since it only has a relatively small effect on the ticket price, and internalizes the cost of emissions, this is a very fair policy.
Questions and Uncertainties
Given the uncertainty about the exact impact of non-CO2 heating effects, these effects must be further studied in order to make exact calculations for compensation.
While synthetic fuels burn a bit cleaner, it is not clear how much. They may be reduced as much as 50% or maybe not much at all (FOEN 2019b). This would continually require negative emissions, even despite CO2 neutral fuel.
Massnahme 2.26 : Allgemeine Effizienzmassnahmen
Es gibt viele kleine Verbesserungen zur Verringerung des Treibstoffverbrauchs. Z.B. elektrisches Rollen, gemischte Winglets und Triebwerke mit offenem Rotor, bessere Start- und Ankunftsplanung, Verringerung des Kabinengewichts oder optimale Flughöhe und -geschwindigkeit. Diese Verbesserungen sollten sofort angestrebt werden.
There are many small improvements that can be employed to reduce fuel usage and hence reduce emissions. In a Nature article, Schäfer et al. (2016) list many such measures, and detail how much could be saved in emissions at what price.
Interestingly, many of the measures would actually save the airlines money. For example, electric taxiing, namely installing an electric motor in the wheels, could save about 2.8% of emissions and save money for the fuel used by the engines running currently. Running on a single engine between the gate and takeoff could save another 2%. Blended winglets and open rotor engines could save even more, as they reduce drag during flight. There is also a lot of potential in airport-management, for example better launch scheduling could allow planes to wait at the gate and only turn on the engines when they are allowed to launch. Better arrival scheduling could allow planes to fly slower instead to circle over the airport until they are given permission to land. Flying slower saves fuel.
Some measures cause additional costs for airlines. Reducing cabin weight can save 1-2% of fuel, thus the maximum luggage weight should be reduced, from today's standard of 20kg to 15kg. Unnecessary things, such as duty-free items should be forbidden.
There are studies showing that moderate changes to flight paths could significantly change the non-CO2 climate change effects. Sometimes the flight level can be changed by about 600 meters with a significant improvement of heating through contrails with only a marginal increase in fuel consumption (Katrin Schregenberger 2020). Some of these measures increase costs, for example flights would have to be routed over areas with higher taxes or marginally more fuel would be consumed. Regulations should be put in place to incentivize airlines to choose the flight path with the least climate heating effects.
One possible implementation of flight path adjustments is through climate-charged toll areas (Malte 2019). The proposal is to extend today’s area fees to include additional fees for climate sensitive areas. Daily, the fees are adjusted according to weather conditions. Some areas are zoned especially expensive to discourage flights over ice, where the condensation and cloud formation is more intense. Airways already calculate flight paths according to real fees to minimize cost, thus the proposal does not require them to change their software to optimize flight paths. The climate-charged toll areas thus leverage areal fees to monetarily motivate airways to reduce the heating effects of their flights.
The fact that many of these measures were not implemented yet, despite potential savings for the industry, suggests that external pressure may be required. For some items, higher fuel prices would be sufficient, which could be achieved with some of the other policies described above. For others, a regulatory approach has to be taken, for example changing procedures around the airport is not up to a single airline. We propose that BAZL has to decide what measures (listed here and more) would be sufficiently implemented due to higher fuel prices and what measures require regulation and put those regulations into law.
By airlines themselves.
Significant reduction in emissions for a relatively small financial cost.
The small increase in ticket prices is socially acceptable given the reduction in emissions they effect.
Questions and Uncertainties
The listing here is not intended to be exhaustive. While we do mention some sources, a more detailed list of required efficiency measures has to be produced, put into regulation, and implemented.
Massnahme 2.27 : Unterstützung für die vom Rückgang der Luftfahrt betroffenen Menschen
Abhängig von der Menge an synthetischem Kerosin, die bis 2030 zur Verfügung steht, könnte der Sektor um bis zu 90% schrumpfen. Es ist daher notwendig, Umschulungen und finanzielle Hilfe für die betroffenen Arbeitnehmenden zu leisten, um Lohnausfälle auszugleichen. Wir erwarten auch gewisse Auswirkungen auf die Tourismusindustrie, sowohl im Inland als auch weltweit. Dies erfordert begleitende und ergänzende Massnahmen.
Description and Impact
The purpose of all policies above is to cut the GHG emission of aviation. This is not possible without a reduction in aviation until sufficient quantities of synthetic fuels can eventually be produced. If only 10% of today's kerosene quantity is available in synthetic fuel by 2030, this may mean a reduction of 90% of the sector. This will have the consequence that jobs will be lost and aviation employees retrained for other sectors. To make the general strategy and the concrete policies socially compatible, it is crucial to make retraining available and provide financial aid to compensate the lost salaries.
We also expect some effect on the tourism industry, both domestic and globally.
Many companies have their employees travel by plane regularly. Here we expect that most will find alternatives (more teleconference, train ride, …) over the adjustment period.
- Aviation industry: Airport personal, pilots
- Business travel: People living far from their workplace, consultants
- Tourism sector
The groups listed above will face higher unemployment rate, therefore accompanying measures will be taken to facilitate professional reintegration. These measures are described in the public program for green jobs (Policy 9.1).
See Policy 9.1
Questions and Uncertainties
There is still an open point on the impact of the reduction of aviation on the tourism sector outside of Switzerland.
Massnahme 2.28: Ausbau von Alternativen zur Luftfahrt
Es sollte ein bequemes öffentliches Verkehrs- und Zugsystem eingerichtet werden, um die wichtigsten Reiseziele effektiv miteinander zu verbinden. Neue Nachtzugverbindungen, neue Bahnlinien, verbesserte Buchungswebsites und verbesserte Busnetze sollen entwickelt werden.
The vision is to have drastic reduction of aviation; therefore, we need to think about alternatives that could allow people to reach most places in Europe without requiring aviation.
The counterpart should not be that people use their car to drive to destinations they would have flown, for single passenger ICE vehicles the balance is not much better than for planes. To prevent this issue, a convenient public transportation and train system should be put in place to effectively connect major destinations. Travel time is the main reason (67%) (FSO 2015) why people choose aviation rather than other means of transport. Therefore, we should tackle this issue by improving efficiency of other means of transport (train, night trains, bus, etc.).
To achieve such goals, studies will be run to determine the major needs to reduce the need of aviation: which cities are not well connected, which destinations are more needed, etc. Based on these studies, investment will be done to support the more impactful measures.
Some of the measures could be:
- Developing new night train rides
- Developing railways for destination that are not well connected
- Improving booking websites: harmonized European digital platform to allows easy planning and booking of train tickets, international train tickets can be bought 6 months in advance (today max. 3 months which is an additional barrier for booking train ticket rather than plane tickets)
- Improving bus network for destination not reachable by train
Once flying will get more expensive (by taxing its environmental impact), everything else will fall in line. Making aviation less attractive might be enough to increase the demand for alternatives such as night trains without necessary need to promote it (we do not want to make it too attractive so people travel more, we want people to change the means of transport).
The financing of studies and impactful projects will be covered by the tax on aviation.
This policy will help to develop alternatives to aviation. The impact will be to reduce aviation by offering better alternatives to aviation. The impact will also be to improve accessibility of regions that are currently not well deserved.
This policy will improve the social compatibility of other aviation policies and improve transportation systems at an affordable price (cheaper than aviation) and therefore allow people to continue to travel even if the price of the aviation drastically increases.
Kapitel 3: Gebäude und Raumentwicklung
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 3.1: Verbot und Ersatzpflicht für fossile und elektrische Heizsysteme
Es ist entscheidend, die Emissionen von Heizsystemen schnell zu reduzieren. Eine regulatorische, gesetzliche Verpflichtung ist erforderlich. Neue fossile und direkt-elektrische Heizsysteme müssen verboten werden. Es wird eine Ersatzpflicht eingeführt, damit alle bestehenden Systeme rechtzeitig ersetzt werden.
Still 60% of residential buildings are heated with oil or gas and fossil heating is still widely used in industry. At the same time, not all fossil heating systems are replaced by renewable energy systems at the end of their service life. And even if this were the case, it would take about 20 years (average life span of heating systems) until the building sector would be largely CO2-free in operation. Previous control instruments such as the CO2 tax and the building program were based almost exclusively on financial incentives. They were and are not able to ensure the necessary rapid transformation from fossil to renewable heating systems. It is therefore imperative that there are regulatory requirements for changing heating systems.
If politics had not ignored climate science for 30 years, it would still be sufficient to establish a gradually decreasing emission limit value (kg CO2 per m2 of energy reference area), which would apply at the time of the heating system change. (This approach is being pursued with the current revision of the CO2 law and is also the basis of the REDEM initiative.)
However, if decarbonization is to be achieved by 2030, we must ensure that:
- Fossil and direct-electric heating systems from 2011 onwards will be replaced by a renewable system before the end of their roughly 20-year service life;
- Fossil and direct-electric heating systems built before 2011 should be replaced by a renewable system at the end of their service life (but no later than 2030);
- Every heating system installed in a new building is renewable;
- In the case of particularly high thermal energy or heat output requirements (old, uninsulated buildings), additional renovation measures are triggered on the building envelope and/or heat output in order to limit the waste of scarce and valuable renewable energy sources.
This can only be guaranteed to be effective with a regulatory legal requirement with the following key points, which come into force on 01.02.2021.
- Legal obligation to replace all or part of fossil-fueled and direct-electric heating through a renewable system in the building stock for all types of buildings
- favored variant a) for all heating systems equally by 31.12.2030 at the latest; an equal utilization of capacity by trade, manufacturers and suppliers is guaranteed by financial incentives (see below)
- alternative variant b) for all heaters graded according to service life (heaters built up to and including 2000 must be replaced by 2021, 2001-2002 by 2022, 2003-2004 by 2023, etc.)
- alternative variant c) a combination of the two, which is more regulatory than a) and allows more individual flexibility than b) with financial incentives (e.g. a three-year window for each heating system, depending on the age of the building, with decreasing compensation the longer the heating system is in operation)
- Legal prohibition of new heating systems based entirely or partially on fossil fuels in new buildings of all types (renewable heating requirement)
- Legal requirement to reduce the final energy demand of particularly inefficient buildings by energetic renovation of the building envelope (e.g. to at least GEAK/CECB/CECE class E) and/or - if an air-to-water heat pump is to be used - by replacing/expanding the heat output system to reduce the flow temperature to max. 40°.
- Hardship clause for the obligation to replace existing systems and renovate the building envelope: If it turns out to be technically almost impossible or financially absolutely unreasonable to fulfill the above conditions, then exceptions can be granted and/or additional subsidies can be granted.
- Heating financial compensation for system replacement costs and non-amortizable investment (NAI) due to premature replacement of the heating system through a subsidy amount graduated according to the age of the heating system (the younger the heating system, the higher the NAI and the higher the subsidy amount); for details see Policy 3.2.
- Financial compensation building envelope for the partly high investment costs and non-amortizable investments (NAI) due to premature renovation of a building component; for details see Policy 3.2.
This compilation serves as a very rough estimate of the additional financial requirements (compared to business-as-usual) to cover the upfront costs and non-amortizable investment costs for heating replacement:
- 1.2 million fossil and direct electric heating systems across all sectors/building types (very rough estimate)
- additional investment costs compared to a pure 1-to-1 replacement of CHF 30,000 on average across all sectors or building and heating types (very rough estimate)
- in addition, investment costs that cannot be amortized due to premature replacement of heating in half of all heating systems amounting to CHF 10,000 on average across all sectors or building and heating types (very, very rough estimate)
- Total: CHF 48 billion for the ten years from 2021 to 2030 (around CHF 5 billion p.a.)
For counter-financing or financial support for building owners see Policy 3.2.
The introduction of the above measures would reduce current emissions from the building sector from 12.6 Mt CO2eq/a to almost completely by the end of 2030. The other policy instruments in this chapter - such as the Climate Fund are mainly of a flanking character: They increase acceptance and social compatibility and/or reduce the costs of regulatory requirements. They only have a CO2 reduction effect of their own if they lead to climate protection measures that are not required by law or before they become mandatory.
About half of the owners of buildings with a fossil fuel heating system (businesses as well as private households) have to replace it prematurely, which means that investment costs cannot be amortized and have to be written off prematurely. In the interests of fairness, these additional costs should be largely covered by the general public (e.g. through the GHG-levy). In addition, there are investment costs for the system changeover to a renewable heating system, which are usually higher than a one-to-one replacement (i.e. from oil to oil, from gas to gas). These are usually more than offset over the life of the heating system by the lower operating costs but can be a challenge in terms of liquidity and willingness to pay. This also applies to the high costs of a building envelope renovation. In both cases, there is a need for funding offers for particularly affected, financially weak households (and companies). For details see Policy 3.2.
Questions and Uncertainties
- How do we minimize private and social costs through premature replacement of heating systems?
- Do we need further flanking measures to limit the overuse of wood for energy purposes and to take account of the prospect of a decline in waste heat from waste incineration?
Massnahme 3.2: Klimafonds
Um das insgesamt verfügbare Finanzierungsvolumen für die energetische Gebäudesanierung deutlich zu erhöhen, wird ein Klimafonds eingerichtet. Dieser ähnelt dem bestehenden Bauprogramm in der Schweiz, wird aber um einige Punkte ergänzt (z.B. höhere Subventionsraten oder eine Härtefallklausel).
The climate fund is similar to the existing building program in Switzerland, with improvements in the following aspects:
- The total available funding volume must be significantly increased compared to today. It is not trivial to determine the required amount a priori. An estimate would be possible if plausible approximations of the additional financial requirements of the renovation measures were available (see “Financing” in Policy 3.1).
- It is imperative that the funding criteria include those remedial measures:
- Which have the greatest impact on climate protection in terms of quality assurance (above all changing the heating system from fossil to renewable) and
- Which are prescribed by law (see Policy 3.1) and could cause social hardship (e.g. facade renovation due to high upfront costs), or
- Which are not prescribed and are hardly ever taken voluntarily (due to a very long payback period or lack of cost-effectiveness over the lifetime of the component) and
- Which do not involve any counterproductive uses in the overall system (e.g. scarce biogenic energy sources for space heating/hot water, where other solutions would also be possible).
- The support rates for the various rehabilitation measures must be increased. They should be based on the following criteria:
- In the case of compulsory refurbishment, they must take into account the age of the systems concerned in the case of early replacement of heating systems/components: For instance, the younger the heating system to be replaced early, the higher the Investment costs that cannot be amortized and the higher the aid rate.
- In the case of voluntary refurbishments, the subsidy rates must be so high that the owners subjectively perceive them as a relevant subsidy contribution. Only then will they act as a de facto incentive for those who would not have carried out energy efficiency improvements anyway. (This also reduces the deadweight loss effect, because with low subsidy rates only those who would have renovated anyway due to other reasons (e.g. climate protection) will take advantage of the subsidy.
- In both cases, the rates could also be graduated to a certain extent according to the respective climate protection effect: The higher the effect on reducing the final energy demand and the lower the life-cycle emissions of the new component, the higher the subsidy rate.
- In addition, hardship clauses (or similar) are needed to ensure that in technically difficult cases and where the costs are not socially acceptable, the support rates can be increased further.
It makes sense for the Climate Fund to remain at federal level, as this is where the revenues from the GHG-levy are pooled. Building owners should have access to the same promotional offers regardless of the canton in which they are located. In particular, the level of subsidies should not depend on the extent to which the canton in question provides additional funds of its own (see Financing). The above changes should take effect simultaneously with the entry into force of the regulatory requirements (see Policy 3.1).
The funds for the buildings program should continue to be financed to a large extent by the proceeds of the further increasing CO2 levy, because this is in line with the polluter-pays principle and is budget-neutral. For this reason, it does not seem appropriate to continue the existing mechanism (basic amount from the confederation from the CO2 levy, supplementary amounts from the cantons from their respective budgets). In the past, this has led to very low promotion budgets in many cantons and a lack of constancy in the promotion offer. It would seem sensible to set the share of subsidies from the federal CO2 levy at a level that, in combination with the other instruments, would allow the remediation and climate protection goals to be essentially achieved, so that there would be no dependence on the fluctuating willingness and ability of the cantons to provide subsidies. The additional funds required for this purpose can (hopefully) be generated from the rising revenue from the increasing CO2 levy. For social equalization, a large proportion of the tax revenue (⅔?) must continue to be redistributed to the population and companies.
The climate protection effect directly attributable to the support program will probably be quite small. This is because, essentially, financial support is provided here for remediation measures that are prescribed by the above-mentioned regulatory requirements and therefore have to be carried out anyway. The funding instruments are primarily of an accompanying nature: They increase acceptance and social compatibility and/or reduce the costs of the regulatory requirements. They only have a CO2 reduction effect of their own if they lead to climate protection measures that are not prescribed by law or before they become mandatory.
In principle, the funding instruments serve to increase the social acceptability of other instruments (among others Policy 3.1).
Questions and Uncertainties
No open questions.
Massnahme 3.3: Förderung von biologisch basierten Baumaterialien
Um die Produktion, die Lieferkette und die Verwendung von biologisch basierten Baumaterialien zu fördern, muss jedes neue Bauprojekt in der Schweiz bis 2022 mindestens 50% Holz oder andere organische Materialien wie Hanf oder Stroh enthalten. Dies wird zu einer Verkleinerung des Abbaus und der Produktion von Zement, Stahl, Kalkstein und Eisenerz führen. Zudem bietet diese Massnahme ein erhebliches Potenzial zur Speicherung negativer Emissionen.
To promote production, supply chain and usage of bio-based construction materials, in alignment with a recent proposal from the French government (Nelson 2020), any new construction project in Switzerland must contain at least 50% wood or other organic materials like hemp or straw by 2022.
By employing bio-based materials, technologies and construction assemblies with high carbon storage capacity and low embodied carbon emissions, we can create a durable, human made, global carbon pool while simultaneously reducing GHG emissions associated with building sector activities. Cities built from bio-based materials, such as engineered timber and bamboo, can serve as constructed carbon sinks (Churkina et al. 2020). Storing and maintaining carbon in these densely constructed carbon pools will help replenish the terrestrial carbon storage, thereby reducing current atmospheric CO2 levels and offsetting future emissions. Primary building superstructure is the heaviest share of overall building weight and therefore has the greatest capacity for carbon storage. Redirecting roundwood from use as a fuel to long-lived products would be the most beneficial for climate change mitigation. Bio-based building materials can also be readily applied to other components and systems that make up contemporary building assemblies such as interior finishes, thermal insulation, and interior and exterior furnishings (Wiprächtiger et al. 2020). Fast in growing bio-based materials, e.g. hemp and straw, have considerable potential for temporary carbon capture and storage when used as thermal insulation for the renovation of existing facades as well as in new constructions (Pittau, Habert, and Iannaccone 2019). Besides being less impact-intensive in production, wood and cellulose fiber insulations have the additional advantage of being made of waste materials. In comparison to other engineered carbon sinks, the option of storing carbon in buildings has obvious benefits. It takes advantage of evolving construction processes that will occur in any case and serves as a substitute for mineral-based structural materials causing high CO2 emissions.
The share of bio-based materials in construction in Switzerland is currently low. Only 14% of all primary building superstructure is being built of wood (Holzbau Schweiz, n.d.). Insulation materials are dominated by oil-based and mineral-based materials with bio-based insulation materials as niche applications.
Materials from renewable sources are in Switzerland generally more expensive than mineral and oil-based materials. Using materials with lower environmental impacts is therefore currently often related to higher costs. With increasing expertise as well as demand and supply chain of bio-based materials, it is expected that bio-based materials become cost-competitive with other non-bio-based materials as seen in other countries, e.g. Sweden, where wood-based constructions are cheaper compared to steel/concrete-based constructions.
In addition to the availability of forest resources, this transition will require changes in building codes, retraining the construction workforce, expansion of manufacturing capacities for bio-based products, and downscaling production of mineral-based materials. The transition will lead to downscaling of cement, steel, aggregate, limestone, and iron ore mining and production.
A precondition for achieving higher harvest levels and maintaining carbon storage in forests is preserving forest sustainability and continuing re-forestation efforts. Increased demand for timber in construction would have to be supported by a strong legal and political commitment to sustainable forest management and robust forest certification schemes.
Biogenic materials, if not produced from waste, may however produce adverse impacts with regard to land use and eutrophication.
Questions and Uncertainties
The fundamental difference in using timber for long-lived products rather than biofuels is the fate of carbon after timber harvest. While all carbon contained in 1 t of timber is emitted to the atmosphere when timber is burned, this carbon will be retained on land if timber is converted to long-lived wood products. In the latter case, carbon has a potential to be stored on land indefinitely once technologies are developed to process and safely landfill unrecyclable wood from demolished buildings.
Massnahme 3.4: bestehende Gesetze und Bauvorschriften an netto null anpassen
Die Baugesetze müssen auf nationaler, kantonaler und kommunaler Ebene angepasst werden, um den Bau und die Sanierung mit klimafreundlichen und nachhaltigen Technologien und Materialien zu gewährleisten. Um herauszuarbeiten, welche Regelungen angepasst werden müssen, sollten Expert*innenenkommissionen Vorschläge erarbeiten.
Building regulations today sometimes make it difficult to build and renovate with climate-friendly and sustainable technologies and materials or indirectly prevent better solutions. Examples are regulations on the minimum number of parking spaces for individual traffic, insufficient consideration of life cycle analyses for specifications in the insulation sector, or the existence of single-family house zones (see info-box).
Building laws should be adapted at the national, cantonal and municipal level to allow net zero to be reached quickly. In order to work out which regulations need to be adapted, expert commissions (architects, builders, executors and, if necessary, administrative representatives) should be formed at national, cantonal and communal level to make proposals for the necessary changes.
Such revisions would then have to be incorporated into the respective legislation via political processes.
Expert commissions could be set up at the respective level without high costs.
No directly measurable effect on greenhouse gas emissions would be possible here. However, the measure is nevertheless necessary and helpful to promote sustainable decarbonization.
This measure should have no negative effects.
Questions and Uncertainties
How can it be ensured that the proposals are also promptly implemented politically?
Massnahme 3.5: One-stop-shop Beratungsstellen
Um den Umbau zu klimaverträglichen Gebäuden zu erleichtern, müssen unabhängige One-Stop-Shop-Beratungsstellen eingerichtet werden. Diese informieren über Technologien, Massnahmen, Verfahren, Kosten, Finanzierung und Subventionen. Solche Beratungsstellen sollen in allen Kantonen und grösseren Städten entstehen. Dort, wo es diese bereits gibt, sollten sie stärker auf Klimaverträglichkeit ausgerichtet werden.
In order to achieve decarbonization of all buildings by 2030, extensive retrofitting of the existing building stock is required. Many homeowners and tenants will be affected by this. In order to facilitate the conversion to carbon-free buildings, independent one-stop-shop advice centers should be set up for those wishing to retrofit, with information on technologies, measures, procedures, costs, financing and subsidies. Such advice centers must be set up in all cantons and larger cities. Several cantons already have such centers, but they should orientate them more towards climate compatibility.
The canton of Aargau can serve as a model: Under the name "energieberatungAARGAU" (Energy Consulting Aargau), the canton operates a central contact and information point to answer questions and offers support on topics such as energy efficiency or enforcement of cantonal energy legislation. The consulting services are divided into 3 areas:
- Consulting for individuals, industry, businesses and service sector
- Consulting for communities
- Information events
Private individuals thereby have the possibility of getting a rough analysis and rough answers to questions within the range of the building technology and/or the building envelope by means of a consultation. In order to ensure the correct realization during planning as well, a planning consultation is offered: Before the planned project comes into the detail treatment, respectively to the execution, together with their partners like architects and/or building services planners, owners can have their project checked by energy consultants for energetic optimizations and the efficient and sustainable use of energy. The impulse consultation "renewable heating" shows how heating systems in residential buildings can be replaced by sustainable and ecological heating systems. And with the GEAK/CECB/CECE. Furthermore, property owners receive an analysis of the energy status and efficiency of their building. The condition is indicated on the energy label in classes A (very efficient) to G (low efficiency). Thanks to this wide range of services, all questions of homeowners and tenants can be answered professionally.
In principle, consultations that result in the reduction of CO2 emissions in the building sector are already subsidized by the confederation from the revenues of the CO2 steering levy. In addition to a basic contribution to the cantons, the latter finances the services with ⅓, the remaining ⅔ are reimbursed by the federal government. All of the above-mentioned offers are already financially supported in the canton of Aargau. Additional funding or coverage of the total costs would further encourage this.
Information is key to the success of a rewarding implementation. It is important that homeowners and tenants know their options so that they can make the right choice at the right time. In addition, questions such as financing the implementation and legal hurdles can be addressed in advance.
It should not be expected that such a consulting offer is socially incompatible. Particular attention is to be directed towards the owner-tenant dilemma, whereby the tenants only retain an insufficient influence on renewals.
Questions and Uncertainties
No open questions.
Massnahme 3.6: Renovierungsanreize bei gemieteten Gebäuden
Nicht gesetzlich vorgeschriebene, energetische Sanierungen sollen gefördert werden. Gleichzeitig müssen die Mieter*innen vor überhöhten Energiekosten geschützt werden. Energiekosten dürfen nicht auf die Mieter*innen abgewälzt werden. Höhere Subventionen, das Recht auf Mietreduktionen bei nicht erfolgter Sanierung oder mehr Transparenz bezüglich der energetischen Qualität der Wohnung setzen richtige Anreize.
The owner-tenant dilemma (also known as user-investor dilemma, split incentive, or principal agent problem) describes the problem that investments are not made because the investor cannot achieve a reasonable return on his investment in the long term. The user, on the other hand, would profit from the (lacking) investment, but does not have to pay for it. However, because the landlord can largely pass on his investment costs under Swiss tenancy law (see above), the owner-tenant dilemma is not a direct obstacle to retrofitting. However, the cost-benefit constellation leads to landlords not feeling a strong retrofitting incentive even with strongly rising energy costs (e.g. by a CO2-tax, see Policy 1.2).
In order to change this - i.e. also to promote energy-efficient refurbishments that are not required by law (see Policy 3.1) and at the same time provide tenants with protection against excessive energy costs, corrections need to be made to the extent of which energy costs are passed on to tenants (see below).
Usage related allocation of energy costs
Currently the tenant bears the full costs for space heating and hot water. However, this is only partially on the basis of services used. Because not only his behavior, but also the building characteristics (which can be influenced at best by the landlord) affect at least the space heat requirement - on average similarly as strongly as the behavior. A solution in which the tenant pays only a part of the room heating costs (e.g. 50%) depending on the energy consumption and the rest (e.g. 50%) is paid as a lump sum. The lump sum is based on the room heating requirements of an average building. It should be gradually reduced in order to reflect the increasing public expectations regarding the efficiency standard of buildings. The owner of a building that consumes an above-average amount of energy or does not meet the respective efficiency standard (e.g. a certain GEAK/CECB/CECE class) pays a higher contribution to the room heating costs than he receives from the tenant as a lump sum. This gives him a direct incentive to reduce these costs through energy-related renovation measures, as he can keep 50 centimes of every franc saved in energy costs for himself. The tenant benefits of this because he or she no longer has to bear the full energy costs for particularly inefficient buildings. At the same time, he or she retains a certain financial incentive to reduce the energy consumption that he or she can influence by making changes in behavior (ventilation, room temperature, etc.). The previously applicable provisions in tenancy law (OR Art. 257b (Bundeskanzlei, n.d.) and VMWG Art. 4 (The Swiss Federal Council 2018)) must be adapted accordingly.
A number of measures are equally suited to protect the interests of tenants and to increase the rate of energy efficiency retrofitting (in this way reducing GHG emissions). However, they would have to be worked out in detail before they could be implemented. This includes:
- The increase of the funding rates in the buildings program (see policy 3.2): This makes the buildings program attractive also for those owners who do not want to retrofit anyway. They are now also taking energy-related retrofitting measures. The subsidies reduce the allocated costs and are thus passed on to the tenants.
- A GEAK/CECB/CECE obligation for new rentals: This gives tenants transparency about the energetic quality of the apartment and the approximate expected service charges (whereby the latter are of course additionally determined by user behavior). In this way, landlords get a reason and an incentive to think about energy improvements of the building.
- An extension of the consumption-based heating and hot water cost accounting ("VHKA") to all new buildings as well as all existing buildings where the heating is being renovated: It strengthens the polluter-pays-principle in the allocation of energy costs, because thereby the influence of the user behavior can be taken into account. At the same time, it serves as an incentive for the tenant to save energy. Ideally, the energy cost billing is designed in such a way that the tenant partly pays it according to consumption, size and location of the apartment and partly as a gradually decreasing flat rate (see above).
- A rent reduction right in the event of failure to renovate: This would have a de facto effect similar to the above-mentioned flat-rate energy cost allowance, which is based on a high efficiency standard.
A claim for retrofitting on the part of the tenant if a gradually decreasing upper limit for energy costs is exceeded. This could - in addition to the regulatory requirements discussed in Policy 3.1 - act as a private law retrofitting requirement for rented buildings.
Most of the measures mentioned are associated with little (or no) additional investment costs. In some cases, such as the expansion of the VHKA/DIFC/CISR, the additional costs for equipment, maintenance and annual billing are covered by the savings in energy consumption. This is shown by before/after comparisons of buildings retrofitted for VHKA/DIFC/CISR, which show a significant reduction in consumption due to the VHKA/DIFC/CISR savings incentive.
The additional climate protection effect of the various measures cannot be quantified without precise knowledge of their exact design and the framework conditions (what other instruments are in effect). In principle, the same applies as for the funding instruments (Policy 3.2): The climate protection effect that can be attributed to the incentives under the tenancy law will probably be quite small. This is because most clean-up measures will be based on regulatory requirements. They will have their own CO2 reduction effect if changes in behavior are encouraged and investment climate protection measures that are not (yet) prescribed by the regulatory framework are initiated.
In Switzerland, the landlord is allowed to allocate most of the expenses for energy-related retrofitting to the rent. Energy-efficient retrofitting of buildings often results in the rent increasing more than the ancillary costs decrease. The consequence is that the cost of living rises. It is true that tenants benefit from a professionally carried out energy-efficient retrofitting mostly through higher living comfort (less draught, no mould growth, better sound insulation). But that does not help those tenants, whose living costs are at the limit of the socially acceptable. It is therefore an important concern to make the framework conditions for energy-efficient buildings retrofitting to a level as socially acceptable as possible, without compromising climate protection goals.
The greatest socio-political relevance is probably the phenomenon that real estate is often emptied of its tenants when it is completely retrofitted, and in this case the rent can be freely determined after the retrofitting, so that - depending on the market situation - it is significantly higher than the old rent. In such cases the housing costs increase the most. However, this correlation is not primarily linked to energy-related building retrofits. Especially retrofitting for energy efficiency can usually be carried out without having to empty the building. It is rather the "luxury renovations", which concern bath, kitchen or even the living space division, which require a notice of vacancy. Those have little to do with energetic retrofitting, but rather represent some landlords’ strategy in order to be able to implement disproportionate rent increases even under the current tenancy law. If energetic retrofittings usually do not require emptying a building, it is of little use to disburse subsidies for energetic retrofittings (see Policy 3.2) only if the building has not been emptied. This would probably only prevent a few emptyings.
In principle, the tenancy law measures serve, among other things, to increase the social acceptability of other instruments (including Policy 1.2 and Policy 3.1). Some measures relieve tenants of some of the financial burden, while others are more likely to place a burden on landlords.
Questions and Uncertainties
No open questions.
Massnahme 3.7: Digitales Materialarchiv und Bauteilemarkt zur Unterstützung zirkulärer Materialkreisläufe
Um klimaneutrales und kohlenstoffspeicherndes Bauen zu fördern, werden Materialkreisläufe benötigt. Das heisst, Bauteile und Materialien sollen vollständig wiederverwertet werden können. Zu diesem Zweck werden ein Bauteile- und Materialaustausch sowie ein nationales Bauteilearchiv aufgebaut.
Sustainable infrastructure must be built in such a way that all resources needed for production are fully reusable. This means that the materials used should no longer just be used and then disposed of, but should be reused, recycled, composted, etc. ("urban mining and recycling"). In this way, the share of grey energy can be significantly reduced. In order to promote carbon-neutral and carbon-storing constructions, instruments that enable circular material cycles are needed, such as building component material markets and digital building component archives.
- Component markets and storage halls should be built regionally at logistically sensible locations. This could be done on a cantonal level.
- A national digital building component archive can link the markets and provides a good overview of supply.
There are already such platforms and facilities for recycling of building materials (e.g. www.madaster.com, www.salza.ch or www.oogstkaart.nl). A Swiss platform could therefore be created based on the experience of existing initiatives. Such a digital archive of building components could be created by the public or private sector.
Fundamental changes are needed to enable comprehensive circular material cycles for building construction and civil and underground engineering:
- Planning for use and reuse, including recording of components and materials. The information stored today (construction plans, cadastral plans) is not sufficient to enable the recycling of building materials in the sense of a circular building economy,
- Modularization and grade of purity, i.e. new materials and new designs will be necessary.
A digital building components archive and component markets are not sufficient for this fundamental renewal of the building industry, but together with other policy measures (e.g. standards, purity and documentation, as well as research and promotion of new sustainable building materials and techniques) they can make an important contribution to this transformation.
The costs of creating and operating a digital building components archive are manageable. The costs of setting up and managing storage halls could be financed from the revenue of the products sold. The costs of registering the components and reusing them could lead to additional costs for the building owner. These could be compensated however at least partly by the sales and/or use of existing construction units.
The grey emissions from buildings are considerable. Recycling reduces the demand for raw materials and consequently the grey emissions as well. While the average share of embodied GHG emissions from buildings following current energy performance regulations is approximately 20–25% of life cycle GHG emissions, this figure escalates to 45–50% for highly energy-efficient buildings and surpasses 90% in extreme cases (Hondo 2005)
A digital material archive and component markets would not have any significant negative social impacts.
Questions and Uncertainties
No open questions.
Massnahme 3.8: Bodenindexpunkte für einen transparenten Kompromiss zwischen Bodenschutz und Infrastrukturentwicklung
Es wird das Instrument der Bodenindexpunkte eingeführt, das den Boden nach seiner Qualität anhand bestimmter Kriterien klassifiziert. Damit wird sichergestellt, dass neue Infrastrukturen vor allem auf minderwertigen oder bereits degradierten Böden gebaut werden und hochwertige Böden für die lokale Produktion von kohlenstoffarmen und erneuerbaren Gütern verfügbar bleiben.
Spatial planning aims to coordinate and operate a trade-off between different land uses, in order to steer spatial development. Municipalities and cantonal authorities apply the instrument of soil index points to ensure that new infrastructures are built primarily on low-quality or already degraded soils. By doing so, soil quality becomes a key driver of planning decisions and high-quality soils stay available for the local production of low-carbon and renewable goods (e.g. food, raw materials, building materials, fuels). In addition, carbon-rich soils remain unsealed and can be managed in order to limit carbon loss or even act as carbon sinks in the long run. Where necessary, the legal basis is adapted accordingly.
Goal and procedure: Soil index points allow to consider soil quality in spatial planning decisions, secure local food production, limit carbon loss, and foster inward urban development. The instrument works as follows (Grêt-Regamey et al. 2018):
- A soil index is developed to assess the quality of the unsealed land across the country. Different criteria are considered and aggregated in this index, such as for example: "suitability for agricultural production", “carbon content”, "potential for carbon sequestration"
- At cantonal level, the sum of the soil index points is then calculated. An annual cap is set to limit the yearly consumption of soil index points on the cantonal territory.
Until now, the legislation has rather focused on the quantitative aspect of soil protection (i.e., on the reduction of land consumption) and on the preservation of the most fertile soils through the designation of crop rotation areas. Few guidelines exist to account for soil quality in cases where land development is unavoidable or paramount for the general interest (e.g. to build infrastructure for the production of renewable energy). Soil index points aim to tackle this issue and include soil quality in spatial planning decisions in order to protect high-quality soils. However, soil index points should not replace other important criteria (e.g. accessibility, proximity to already built-up areas) to decide on the location of new building zones. Rather, this instrument should allow soil quality to be taken into account along with quantitative criteria (e.g. total area in ha) when weighing up the interests at stake (Grêt-Regamey et al. 2018).
Justification and link to other policies: The Climate Action Plan provides for a moratorium on new infrastructures until 2030 (see chapter Cross Sectoral Policies, Policy 1.1). However, exceptions are planned for key infrastructures that support decarbonization. Such facilities include, for example, renewable energy power plants. The construction of these infrastructures will require the building-over of additional land area and it is thereby crucial to ensure the protection of the qualitatively best soils.
Responsibilities: The instrument was originally developed to be implemented at municipal level. To ensure stricter implementation, the management of the soil index points could be delegated to the cantons, under supervision of the confederation.
Time period: As soon as possible. The instrument requires nationwide soil data and the aggregation of soil function maps into a soil index (Gmünder 2016). Such decision-making tools are not yet available and have to be developed first.
The development of soil index maps will be supported by the federal government and the cantons.
- Preservation of soil quality (Gmünder 2016). By doing so, it ensures that high-quality soils remain available in the long run for the local production of low-carbon and renewable goods (e.g. food, raw materials, building materials, fuels). In addition, carbon losses are reduced, and soils may be enabled to act as carbon sinks in the long run;
- Economical and sustainable use of the soil by using both qualitative (e.g. suitability for agricultural production, carbon content, potential for carbon sequestration) and quantitative (e.g. total area in ha, proximity to other developed areas) criteria to select the location of new building areas.
- To reduce soil carbon emissions and even enable carbon sequestration, new land management practices such as the rewetting of peat soils or residue management are urgently needed (see Policy 6.31). As a prerequisite to such actions, the use of soil index points in spatial planning decision-making is key to prevent high quality soils from being built over and to concentrate new building zones on already degraded soils.
In order to meet the growing demand for living and working space without a massive extension of urban areas, spatial planning should aim at high-quality inward urban development.
Questions and Uncertainties
Soil index points are not yet used in Switzerland. However, the implementation of the instrument is currently being discussed in specialist circles. Abroad, soil index points have been used successfully for several years, e.g. in Stuttgart (Grêt-Regamey et al. 2018).
Massnahme 3.9: Klimafolgenabschätzungen aller Projekte
Alle laufenden und zukünftigen Raumplanungsprojekte müssen nachweislich mit dem Ziel netto null bis 2030 vereinbar sein. Dies wird durch den Einsatz von Klimafolgenabschätzungen erreicht. Dasselbe gilt für wesentliche strukturelle Entwicklungen im Rahmen des bestehenden Planungsrechts. Auf diese Weise werden die Klimaauswirkungen von Bauentscheidungen den Entscheidungsträger*innen und der Öffentlichkeit bewusst gemacht.
The goal of 2030 net-zero-compatibility is to be demonstrated by the planning authorities by means of climate compatibility tests for all current and future spatial planning projects in accordance with the polluter-pays principle. The same applies to essential structural developments within the framework of existing planning laws - whether in existing building zones or in areas with development plans / special building regulations.
For the implementation, the possible legal leeway is to be fully exploited or the necessary legal and regulatory prerequisites are to be created (e.g. in the Environmental Protection Act and the Ordinance on Environmental Impact Assessment); in particular, besides assets, planning must also be taken into account.
Existing environmental law already provides for the option of tightening existing emission regulations if it is clear that they are harmful (Art. 11) (The Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation 1983). With regard to the climate emergency and its urgency, the existing procedures of environmental impact assessment are to be extended or supplemented in such a way that
a) CO2 is substantially and comprehensively considered as a significant emission (including grey emissions and emissions from site-related mobility),
b) the reference to installations is extended to include planning (as known for years in Europe as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and discussed in Switzerland as "environmental impact assessment" ("Wirkungsbeurteilung Umwelt") and in some cases already binding at the cantonal legal level.
c) the threshold values are lowered (e.g. System sizes not only from 500 parking spaces upwards) and
d) the realization of projects under existing planning law is also subject to an examination in the context of approval procedures with regard to climate impacts.
For smaller projects, the climate compatibility assessment does not require a complete material-law examination of all other environmental issues. It must be proven under material law that effective climate protection (2030 net-zero-compatibility) is achieved with planning and project and is not undermined. Corresponding legal bases (lowering path / CO2 budget) are to be created for this.
In order to be able to carry out the verifications in a simplified way, it is recommended to provide appropriate planning and calculation aids.
Justification and link to other measures: The CAP plans a moratorium on new infrastructure until 2030 (see Policy 1.1). Exceptions are planned, however, for certain new buildings and facilities that promote decarbonization, as well as for developments in existing infrastructure (renovation and conversion). Here - as well as where any legal claims should stand in the way of the implementation of the moratorium - climate compatibility assessments are required to ensure that such projects are 2030 net-zero compatible.
The planning law currently applied in Switzerland permits a wide range of constructional developments. However, at the time of the adoption of the respective planning laws (zoning regulations, special building regulations) by the political bodies or the sovereign, the question of 2030 net-zero-compatibility of the plans was not included in the consideration processes. On the one hand, there is a lack of political awareness of climate issues, on the other hand, there is a lack of legal foundations.
Responsibilities: It is of the Federal Council: Adaptation of legal foundations and preparation of planning and calculation aids; planning authorities for the execution of the verification (planning authorities and applicants); enforcement authorities.
Time period: Immediately. The preparation of the documents will take some time. Until then, individual proofs can be used without the corresponding planning tools, or a certain moratorium applies until the corresponding proofs can be provided.
If interventions (planning or construction projects) affect the climate, the polluters are responsible for sufficiently demonstrating that the interventions are not harmful. The costs for the proofs are therefore to be paid by the intervening parties.
The climate impact of planning is increasingly acknowledged and is becoming a central criteria for it. Climate impact assessments provide decision-makers (in politics and public authorities, the sovereign) with the necessary basis for decision-making regarding greenhouse gas impact. Without them, it is not possible to make well-founded decisions about the climate compatibility of a project.
As long as it cannot be proven by climate impact assessments that projects are compatible with effective climate protection (2030 net-zero-compatibility), developments will be limited to existing buildings and infrastructure. (see Policy 1.1 "Moratorium on new infrastructure").
Questions and Uncertainties
How far does an appropriate adjustment of the UVPV/OEIE/OEIA (Verordnung über die Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung/ Ordonnance relative à l’étude de l’impact sur l’environnement/ Ordinanza concernente l’esame dell’impatto sull’ambiente) by the executive alone already suffice? Which legal adjustments would have to precede this? How can a CO2 reduction path be specified in concrete terms: on a sectoral or subregional basis throughout Switzerland?
Massnahme 3.10: Rahmenbedingungen für Entwicklungsprozesse hin zu klimaneutralen Städten und Gemeinden
Die Gemeinden stellen die notwendigen Ressourcen für soziale Initiativen, lokale Verhandlungen und Gestaltungsprozesse zur Verfügung (Räume, Materialien, mögliche Informationskanäle, mögliche Entschädigungen). Ziel ist die Umsetzung klimaneutraler Städte, Gemeinden, Kommunen, Stadtteile, Nachbarschaften und öffentlichen Räumen.
Municipalities provide the necessary resources for socially initiated, local negotiation and design processes (rooms, material, possible information channels, possible remuneration, etc.) with the aim of implementing climate-neutral cities, municipalities, communities, neighbourhoods and public spaces. Where there is no initiative from the citizens for such design processes, the municipalities themselves become active in initiating these processes and, if necessary, accompanying them.
Justification and link to other measures: For the transformation toward climate-neutral cities, the initiatives emanating from existing institutions are obviously not yet sufficient. In particular, there has been too little willingness to take decisive action. It can also be assumed that the municipal administrations do not have the resources (personnel, knowledge, etc.) necessary for such processes. At the same time, the transformation will not be able to take place entirely without the existing institutions or completely bypass them. But how and with whom can the transformation to a climate-neutral future be shaped locally? How can neighborhoods, quarters, and public spaces be transformed so that they promote and encourage a climate-neutral life for all? In this context, the diversity of concrete situations in Switzerland will not allow for the one correct format or the one suitable form of institutionalization of alternative negotiation arenas. One could think of future workshops, climate assemblies or other cooperative discourses and large group-oriented processes. It is important, however, to establish and cultivate corresponding processes locally.
Municipalities - as bearers of the public interest - basically have a central function here. However, if they cannot (or do not want to) fulfill this function, they are at least obliged to provide the resources necessary for such processes. This can include - in recognition of their commitment - rewarding those who play a decisive role in shaping these processes.
Just as possible formats, settings and forms of institutionalization cannot be generally prescribed, the principles by which such processes are oriented cannot be generalized. Nevertheless, various principles can serve as orientation for such processes:
To be searched for / tried out are:
- Dissent clarification
- Consensus orientation (consensus: no serious, justified objection)
- Discourses that are binding in terms of content and not arbitrary; commitment to a net zero orientation by 2030 and the consideration of climate justice. In addition, questions of climate adaptation and ecological functionality (protection of species) should be central.
- Sufficient appreciation of the commitment (time / remuneration).
To be avoided are:
- Forms of "strategic integration”. Bernd Sahler identifies them as follows: Discussion rounds are convened by government representatives; They select the facilitators, the mediators, the chairpersons of the meeting; The topics and discussion points are determined by the mediators; There is no "equality of arms" between the two sides from the outset; The persons and groups involved are not granted the right to make decisions (Wilk and Sahler 2014).
- forms of a "simulative democracy" (Blühdorn 2013), which protects vested interest and with which the existing, unsustainable order of injustice is secured through democratic procedures.
- Forms of selective democratization through which exclusively or predominantly groups with strong articulation (e.g. politically, financially, symbolically and culturally powerful groups) have their say and minority positions are structurally disregarded.
- Strict orientation towards consensus, since this favors the danger of a unity of content, and marginalizes disputes; Deviating or weakly articulated positions through an implicit pressure of silence.
- Solidification of processes due to permanent (paid) positions of power.
Responsibilities: Committed people / users (residents, businesses, etc.), communities.
Time period: Immediately; To be maintained
Different for each process. For small municipalities, it should be possible to apply for financial assistance (cantonal, federal). Funds are provided from climate funds or newly created transformation funds. Municipalities and institutions must make rooms available free of charge (community rooms, schools, church rooms, etc.).
High; corresponding processes are to be designed in such a way that they have a multiplication effect on site as learning and design processes at the same time; innovation processes and municipal change management lead to the feasibility of solutions that previously lacked majorities.
Is among other things the result of these processes.
Questions and Uncertainties
It is currently not clear in what dynamics such processes will be implemented. They could be made a prerequisite for the approval of municipal planning guidelines; However, the focus should be less on formalization than on the quality of the processes. What incentives communities have for participating in such processes should be examined locally. One possibility is to link them to questions of climate adaptation, which is an effective method of bringing climate protection issues into focus. (Böschen et al. 2014)
Massnahme 3.11: Rahmenbedingungen für begehbare und lebenswerte "Städte der kurzen Wege" schaffen
Gemeinden und Privatpersonen tragen zur "Stadt der kurzen Wege" bei, indem sie auf drei Ebenen geeignete Rahmenbedingungen schaffen: Raumplanung (Verfügbarkeit von Flächen), Infrastruktur (attraktive Wegenetze) und Versorgung (Förderung verschiedener lokaler Dienstleistungen).
Municipalities and private individuals help to ensure that favorable conditions for livable "cities of short distances" are provided locally. They do this by creating suitable conditions on three levels: spatial planning (availability of land), infrastructure (inviting footpath networks) and supply-side (promotion of a variety of local service offerings). Here, walking is particularly encouraged ("walkable city").
Justification and link to other measures: The "city of short distances" provides the framework for an alternative (local) mobility culture by avoiding traffic (shorter distances), shifting it (compatible modes of transport such as walking / cycling) and improving it (greater urban compatibility than car traffic). Contrary to frequent assumptions, however, it is not primarily created by a mixture of uses, density, good public transport or attractive outdoor spaces, but rather by low speeds or high spatial resistance (see various policies of the WG Mobility, as well as Policy 3.13) (J. Müller and Lange 2016). Walking is not only the most climate-friendly form of mobility, it also has no negative consequences, neither for urban coexistence nor in terms of other effects on the "environment". Walking therefore plays a major role for a world that wants to get by with far less resource throughput for transport. In addition, walking is healthy in many respects, is available to everyone, costs nothing, brings people into conversation, etc. Walking is part of the promise that resonates in the model of the "city of short distances" - but it must be designed concretely. This requires measures on three levels: spatial planning, infrastructure and supply. These measures are intended to replace today's forced mobility in terms of the choice of means of transport with the possibility of walking. We speak of forced mobility when, for example, everyday mobility needs and routes cannot be chosen voluntarily due to the conditions of the area, but instead require certain means of transport.
- Spatial planning requirements: A large part of today's traffic volume is generated by leisure and shopping traffic (about commuting see especially Policy 3.13). Spatial planning can promote short distances. This can create favorable conditions for small-scale recreational activities, e.g. by providing a good quality living environment or good accessibility of recreational areas on foot, by bicycle and by public transport. Furthermore, shopping on foot is to be encouraged. To this end, the availability of space must be managed: on the one hand, by restricting large-scale (and usually decentralized) retail trade, and on the other hand by enabling and promoting small-scale or pedestrianized supply structures. The future use of family or leisure gardens (allotment gardens) - which today are often "only" used for leisure activities - must also be seen in the light of their importance for local supply. This does not imply that urban forms of future agriculture can contribute to a full supply, but it does mean that they will become more important in the future, also with regard to the knowledge of producing one's own food. Accordingly, spatial planning should aim for a perforation of the city in which areas for allotment gardens / common-gardening gardens are within walking distance (walkable perforation).
- Infrastructural requirements: High-quality places to stay and meet as well as attractive footpath networks will be created. For this purpose, people on foot are consistently prioritized (see WG Mobility, e.g. when crossing roads), in order to ensure a dense, coherent network of footpaths with few detours and obstacles for everyone.
- Supply-side requirements: A rich offer of local-community usages is created, which promote the social organization on site (village, city, district, quarter...) and in the neighborhood. Here are conceivable for example:
- Exchange and loan stores;
- Climate workshops or repair cafés (see Policy 9.2);
- Co-Working jobs (which promote new working models);
- Rooms for neighborhood, neighborhood-related and social organization;
- Urban Gardening (commons; within walking distance).
Cycling is also central to the "city of short distances", which is not the focus here (see WG Mobility). However, the measures described here are almost always in line with a bicycle-friendly city.
Responsibilities: Public authorities; landowners. On the supply side, the public sector can contribute to and stimulate corresponding offers with funding programs, platforms, low-cost loans, financial/spatial support, etc.
Time period: As of now. The effectiveness unfolds over time.
To be clarified in individual cases.
The measure has a positive effect on different levels:
- Reduction of emissions (CO2, noise, pollutants, fine dust, etc.) by promoting non-motorized traffic instead of motorized individual traffic;
- Greater social resilience due to the possibility of satisfying needs locally, for which there was previously either no supply, or which were satisfied through consumption or at another location, as well as through smaller-scale structures (e.g. neighborhood stores), which lead to a greater structural diversity of supply;
- Strengthening of sociality and community spirit on site;
- Health promotion / health prevention through increased walking and cycling (counteracts diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer, depression etc.).
Given. Strengthens social cohesion / community building.
Questions and Uncertainties
Massnahme 3.12: Erschliessung von peri-urbanen und ländlichen Räumen
Der Wandel hin zu einer klimaneutralen Gesellschaft muss auch die stadtnahen und ländlichen Gemeinden im Umland einbeziehen. Die Agglomeration und ländliche Gemeinden setzen kommunale Entwicklungsprozesse in Gang, wobei der Schwerpunkt auf der Klimaneutralität und ihren spezifischen räumlichen Bedingungen liegt.
The transformation to a climate-neutral society must include not only urban, but also periurban and rural communities. All of them bring along different characteristics, challenges and potentials for the current and future climate-neutral functioning of society. In order to make the respective potentials known and useable, periurban and rural communities also start community development processes with a special focus on the aspect of climate neutrality and their specific spatial conditions.
Justification and link to other measures: Many of the challenges of a climate-neutral transformation are related to questions of the usage of space and the spatial division of labor within Switzerland. Different locations differ fundamentally in terms of building density, social density, use, availability and quality of open space, supply situation, social infrastructure, etc. A climate-neutral Switzerland will not be dissimilar to the present one in terms of the existing buildings simply because we do not have the resources to completely reconstruct the existing buildings. Functional and potential analyses can reveal the potential of the existing building stock, its (partial) conversion, rededication, renaturation, redensification, creative or social transformation, etc. Thus, even single-family home areas have their own potential compared to areas with high building density, such as the possibility of significantly increasing the degree of self-sufficiency - by means of food and the production of renewable energy. Cooperatively organized village shops, communal forms of care (old people, children), shared mobility, etc. are just some of the possible topics.
Community development processes must specifically sound out appropriate conditions in order to activate such specific spatial potentials, with the aim of increasing resilience in periurban and rural areas (e.g., to stabilize village structures) and readjusting the "urban-rural" relationship (model of solidarity-based agriculture, regional leisure activities, de-centralized economics).
Corresponding processes should also take into account questions of climate adaptation. Where actors become aware of their own potential exposure to climate warming, they are also more open to climate protection measures.
Responsibilities: Actors in peri-urban and rural communities
Time period: Immediately
The measure has a positive effect at various levels, albeit rather indirectly and in the medium term:
- Raising awareness of climate issues in relevant communities;
- Increasing social resilience in peri-urban and rural areas;
- Strengthening of sociality and community spirit on site.
Given. Strengthens social cohesion / community building.
Questions and Uncertainties
Massnahme 3.13: Ausgleich der ungleichen Arbeitsplatzverteilung
Das Verhältnis von Arbeitsplätzen zu Einwohner*innen bzw. von Beschäftigten zu Erwerbstätigen ist derzeit in den Grossstädten sehr unausgewogen. Der Überfluss an Arbeitsplätzen in den Stadtzentren führt zu einem hohen Pendler*innenverkehr. Um dieses Verhältnis wieder ins Gleichgewicht zu bringen, müssen die Grossstädte ein Verbot für neue Arbeitsplätze in den Stadtzentren verhängen. Regionen mit kurzen Arbeitswegen sollen entstehen.
In their spatial planning policies, municipalities and cantons ensure that the number of jobs is balanced in order to counteract the current overhang of commuters into the dense urban centers of the agglomerations.
Justification and link to other measures: The employment rate describes the ratio of jobs to inhabitants or of employees to the working part of the population in a certain area. If this ratio is balanced (i.e. there are as many jobs as there are job seekers), then this favors a "traffic-saving" coping with everyday life - i.e. "short" distances. Today's commuter surpluses, however, necessarily mean "long" distances. In Switzerland today, all agglomeration centers (especially the big cities) have a significant surplus of jobs (in the order of 10,000 to 100,000 people/day), which means that commuting distances are long. A considerable proportion of these commuting distances are made by car (Federal Statistical Office (FSO) 2017). Polycentric distributions of workstations lead to shorter distances on average (Einig and Pütz 2007).
In this respect, two aspects are important with regard to a "city of short distances":
a) It does not result from a mixture of small-scale uses, even if this is often but incorrectly argued in area or district developments;
b) The far more relevant factor for short distances is the spatial resistance: The higher the resistance, the shorter the distances (cf. various policies in chapter Mobility aimed at reducing speed, stopping the expansion of the national highway, etc.).
For large cities with a commuter surplus, a development in the direction of equalizing the number of jobs means a stop to the establishment of further jobs in these cities. There are also locations outside of large cities that are well served by public transport and that may offer additional jobs.
A shortening of distances can also be achieved by exchanging jobs within the current settlement structure (job exchanges already exist for this purpose). However, this does not compensate for the structural surplus of commuters caused by the unbalanced employment situation.
Responsibilities: Planning authorities (municipalities, cantons); If necessary, the federal government within the framework of approval procedures for cantonal master plans.
Time period: Immediately.
None, since this is an ongoing planning task.
The measure has a positive effect on different levels:
- In tendency decreasing traffic volume for commuting to work
- In relieving the pressure on the housing market
Is given; defuses social tensions by easing the pressure on the housing market.
Questions and Uncertainties
No open questions.
Massnahme 3.14: Wohnungspolitik für einen "gerechten Übergang"
Massnahmenpakete sind notwendig, um eine "kohlenstoffarme" Gentrifizierung zu verhindern. Dazu gehört die Förderung von nicht profit-orientierten Mieten, eine Mieter*innenschutzklausel, sowie Kostentransparenz bei Mieten oder Regelungen zur Eindämmung von ungerechtfertigten Mieterhöhungen.
The housing and rent policy actors implement appropriate packages of measures to ensure that the transformation to a climate-neutral society is not slowed or even prevented by the effects of low-carbon gentrification. This includes measures such as:
- Regulations to curb unjustified rent increases;
- A tenant protection clause in case of housing shortage;
- The financing of retrofits by owners, not by tenants, in combination with public funding (see e.g. the successful "Vienna Model"),
- The inclusion of the tenants for retrofitting measures;
- Regulations on cost transparency for rents and land/property prices;
- Efforts for a municipalization of the housing stock, and/or promotion of cost rent by building cooperatives (transfer of municipal land in the building law);
- Advantages for those players in the housing market who newly commit themselves to a public welfare orientation (cf. the approach of a "New Common Public Benefit" discussed in Germany);
- Regulations for shares in socially responsible housing prices.
Justification and link to other measures: A sufficiently good housing supply of the population stands in a multiple tensions field to questions of carbon neutrality and spatial planning.
- Building retrofitting: Energy-related retrofitting measures can be used by the landlord to directly displace the original resident population (through complete renovation and new occupancy by people from a different socio-cultural context).
- Rising mobility costs: Tense situations on the housing market can lead to further displacement effects - not only in high-priced cities such as Geneva, Zurich or Lausanne - as soon as previous commuters want to move back to the conurbation centers because the costs of commuting are rising.
- Increased attractiveness of urban living environments: The re-urbanization that has been observed in the urban housing market in recent decades due to increased (inner-)city attractiveness (urban renaissance) can be further intensified by measures for climate neutrality (e.g. by an increasing quality of life due to the transformation towards car-free cities or districts).
The transformation toward climate neutrality must not fail or be delayed because of its implementation. Since housing is a basic need and a basic right, any threat to this basic right is likely to be met with considerable social resistance. A society that takes climate protection seriously would be unwise if it did not simultaneously take seriously and address the obstacles that could effectively prevent or delay climate protection. A "yellow vest phenomenon" in the area of housing must be avoided at all costs, so any potential effects on residents - displacement by renovation measures, rising mobility costs or the attractiveness of the living environment - must be addressed as part of intra-societal climate justice. A housing policy strategy tailored to the local context with a package of housing and rental policy measures must be developed.
Responsibilities: All housing policy actors (municipalities, cantons, federal government, tenant associations, etc.), but also apartment owners and housing developers.
Time period: Immediately
Per measure/ bundle of measures; From regulatory, to subsidies, tax benefits for public welfare orientation, to the transfer of housing stock into municipal ownership.
Prerequisite for a successful transformation of the society.
Housing and rental policy framework conditions are a central prerequisite for a conversion within a useful period (aspects of "climate justice" & just transition).
Questions and Uncertainties
A legally adapted framework needs broad political support.
Kapitel 4: Industrie und Dienstleistungssektor
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 4.1: Verbot von technischen Gasen mit hohem Erhitzungspotenzial
Ein sofortiges Verbot der Produktion, des Imports und der Verwendung neuer Produkte und Geräte, die synthetische Substanzen mit einem globalen Erhitzungspotenzial (GWP) > 50 (100 Jahre Zeithorizont) haben. Für nicht substituierbare Anwendungen (z.B. medizinische Anwendungen) wird eine Abgabe von 500 CHF/t CO2eq erhoben. Um Emissionen von bereits installierten F-Gasen zu vermeiden, kauft eine dafür vorgesehene Stelle diese zu einem Preis von z.B. 200 CHF/t CO2eq und verbrennt sie kostenlos.
A substantial amount of emissions in CO2-equivalents in the industry sector are caused by emissions of “F-gases” (more than 10%). Therefore, this policy is a ban on new products and equipment using synthetic substances with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) > 50 (100 year time horizon) for all applications. The production, import and use is banned immediately.
Most of these gases are substitutes of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) that have been banned in the follow-up to the Montreal-protocol that lists them as ozone-depleting substances referring to the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Therefore, the protocol has been amended by the Kigali agreement that aims to reduce the manufacture and use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by roughly 80-85% from their respective baselines, till 2045. Developed countries are supposed to reduce their usage to 15% by 2036 (baseline 2019). This phase down is expected to arrest the global average temperature rise up to 0.5 C by 2100.
These “F-gases” are mostly used in small amounts but have a high global warming potential per kg (several 100 to several 1000 times more effective per kg than CO2) with a long lifetime. These substances are used because they have a high stability and favorable properties in terms of toxicity and flammability. This makes them convenient candidates for cooling aggregates (both in cars and professional cooling and air conditioning), heat pumps, cleaning in the high-tech industry (electronics etc.) but also for sprays in the pharmaceutical industry. Alternatives such as NH3, CO2 and a variety of short-lived hydrocarbons are available and cheap. Therefore, there has been no interest from the chemical industry to push them. Users of these alternatives are confronted with higher safety standards for both workers and customers that opens questions of liability and additional investments for housing some of the installations (e.g. ammonia-based coolers).
In Switzerland these substances have been regulated - if at all - in the Chemical Risk Reduction Ordinance (ChemRRV) which has failed to curb the usage of these substances. The regulation today allows for too many exceptions, especially for smaller cooling units.
Usually, bans need exceptions for applications that are not able to get clearance for new substances on a short term, such as medical applications. For such applications a levy of 500 CHF/t CO2eq is charged. This is higher than the usual levy on other greenhouse gases to take into account the long lifetime of the substances involved and the lack of technologies for negative emissions for F-gases. Consequently, there should also be an incentive scheme to avoid the emission of F-gases that are already installed. This could be a financial incentive that old F-gases are bought by a designated entity at a price of, e.g., 200 CHF/t CO2eq and that the gases would be burned for free.
Many cars on the street still use R134a as a cooling agent for their air conditioners. This substance is officially phased out in new cars since 2011 already but is still used to refill systems that leak. The GWP of R134a is 1430 and a typical car may use 700g per fillage which equals 1t CO2eq. Therefore, a new refill would cost 500 CHF in tax if the exception would accept refills of old systems. Therefore, this would be a good incentive to either not refill the air conditioner and stop using it, to properly repair the unit to avoid any further leakage or to replace it with a system using no F-gases anymore.
The ban itself is a low cost measure. However, implementation and control requires much more emphasis and staff than what the BAFU and cantons invest today. Also, to deal with exceptions in a strict way needs more experts. The levy for remaining usage may initially pay for the reward scheme for collected and destroyed substances. However, as new sales for exceptions shall vanish the remaining costs will be paid from the levy on GHG and the border carbon adjustment (see chapter Cross Sectoral Policies).
Figure 4‑3 from the National Inventory Report of the Swiss Submission to the UNFCCC shows how dominant refrigerants became and that the replacement of refrigerants in leaking existing cooling devices is the main source. Therefore, the impact of the proposed policy will depend largely on the effect on replacing existing aggregates. Eventually, if applied in a strict way from 2021 through 2030 the remaining emissions should decline from 1.5 Mio.t CO2eq in 2017 to <0.3 Mio.tCO2eq in 2030. Remaining emissions would include leakage from still existing aggregates filled with HFC, few exceptions where no substitutes exist and the emissions from old PUR foams that have been produced with CFCs or HFCs.
Figure 4‑3 Development of emissions under source category 2F Product uses as substitutes for ozone depleting substances. HFC and small amounts of PFC are used as substitutes for ozone depleting substances. Most relevant today are emissions from the built up refrigerant stock in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. (FOEN 2020d)Social compatibility
Drugs for special illnesses may be affected by this ban and should be evaluated carefully. Further, the application of more toxic and more inflammable substances may cause safety concerns if not addressed properly. Therefore, new safety rules should apply in a manner to avoid dangerous workspace situations.
Questions and Uncertainties
A ban always needs control, including at the border to prevent black imports. This requires skilled personnel to be trained in a short time.
Massnahme 4.2: Vom Emissionshandelssystem zum CCS-Finanzierungsinstrument
Die Emissionsobergrenze des heutigen Emissionshandelssystems (ETS) muss an das Netto-Null-Ziel 2030 angepasst werden. Sobald die Emissionsobergrenze im Jahre 2030 erreicht wird, würde sich das ETS zu einem Markt für negative Emissionen für alle verbleibenden Emissionen entwickeln.
As described in the section on existing policies above, today's Swiss Emission Trading Scheme is weak and not ready for net zero. In practice, there are certain factors that render today’s CH-ETS a rather weak instrument:
- Cap-setting: In order to drive emissions reduction, the total cap needs to be set below business-as-usual (BAU) emissions. Given that the Swiss ETS also covers shrinking sectors such as refineries and cement, such structural changes need to ideally be taken into account in the cap-setting process. Adopting the EU cap-setting process, which covers a different set of sectors, did not ensure that allocation in Switzerland was below BAU. In consequence more Swiss emissions allowances were allocated then emissions occurred, which lead to over-allocation and to low prices that provide little to no incentives to invest in emission reduction measures (Eidgenössische Finanzkontrolle 2019). Over-allocation is a global phenomenon that plagued all ETS in particular in their earlier phase, be it in Switzerland, the EU, California, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, China, etc. Since the surplus of allowances can be banked in most schemes into future years, prices do not go down to zero, but reducing over-allocation takes time.
- Political uncertainty: Investment in greenhouse gas mitigation will be only undertaken if companies are sure that the benefits will be higher than the costs. Long-term political commitment and long-term price signals as well as liquidity are therefore crucial for a functional market. In the past the scheme did suffer from low liquidity, a missing long-term price signal which was due to the uncertainty of the linking as well as the political debate in Switzerland on the future of the CH ETS.
In order for the ETS to play a role in decarbonization by 2030 the following amendments need to be made:
- Cap-setting: The cap over the years will need to follow the path which is needed for a rapid decarbonization taking the banked allowances into account and leading to net zero emissions from the ETS in 2030.
- Accompanying measures: High greenhouse gas mitigation costs may lead to a reduced competitiveness of some industry sectors and bring the risk of moving plants abroad (“carbon leakage”). Therefore, instruments such as border tax adjustments (see Policy 1.3) need to be put in place.
- Restricted linking: Depending on the developments with regards to reduction of the emission cap of the EU-ETS, the Swiss ETS may need to be fully de-linked or a restricted linking with the EU-ETS needs to be introduced, which allows for Switzerland to restrict the inflow of lower-priced allowances from the EU-ETS if prices fall below a certain threshold.
Residual Demand for Materials like Steel and Concrete
The first measure is to reduce demand for goods that lead to high CO2 emissions in their production. For many materials, there are substitutes e.g. using wood instead of concrete for most buildings, etc. (see chapter Buildings and Spatial Development).
However, we assume that even with the highest possible level of avoidance, recycling and substitution, also in a decarbonized world there remains a certain demand for goods and materials with inherently high carbon emissions, e.g. for cement and steel to build wind power plants, crystalline silicon for photovoltaic panels, copper to transmit power etc.
New technologies are currently being developed to allow for net zero production of these materials, such as the use of hydrogen or synfuels from renewable power for steel production, or carbon capture e.g. for the geogenic emissions from cement plants. In carbon capture, carbon flue gas streams with high concentrations of CO2 are captured technically at the plant, transported and pressed into underground geological formations, such as saline aquifers.
These emerging technologies pose significant challenges:
- These technologies are still under development and not yet mature for large scale deployment.
- These technologies are currently not available at larger scale and are rather expensive (starting at hundred to several hundred CHF per ton mitigated or sequestrated).
- Some of these technologies bring additional risks, such as the risk of resurfacing of sequestered CO2 from geological formations and related suffocation.
The large-scale research, development and deployment of these technologies requires considerable financial resources. The existing ETS may be a starting point to allow for these technologies to be financed (see also chapter Negative Emissions Policy 7.1).
Transforming the Emission Trading Scheme into an Instrument to Finance CCS
If the overall cap of the ETS reaches net zero emissions in 2030, the Swiss ETS would not be obsolete, but would evolve into a framework that creates a market for negative emissions. Minimum thresholds of emissions would be removed as a criterion for installations to participate in the ETS. In 2030, the ETS allows companies with residual emission that they cannot further reduce to purchase allowances from companies that have the capacity to implement negative emissions technologies. The costs of these negative emissions may be assumed to be very high, and the ETS provides a regulated market environment that fosters large scale investments in novel negative emissions technologies. In this way, the combination of BECCS technologies, border tax adjustments and an ETS could transform into an efficient market-based instrument to finance expensive technologies to neutralize the “unavoidable” residual emissions left for certain key materials and goods.
The consumers of industrial products would pay higher cost for decarbonization for specific emissions intensive goods. Beyond that, the measure will generate substantial revenue to finance other climate mitigation measures.
Decarbonization of high emitting Industries by 2030. Impact is expanded internationally through the formation of clubs of countries that commit to steep decarbonization pathways and form common BTA areas.
Higher costs of goods for consumers may be expected. This may require compensation for low income households (e.g. from carbon levy revenues). Further, there is the need for measures to support just transition, e.g. for workers in industries with high emissions (see Policy 12.1).
Questions and Uncertainties
CCS, BECCS and CDR in general will need a significant push to be deployed on a large scale for commercial applications. Not clear if costs can be significantly reduced in the next decades. Transport and storage of CO2 poses significant risks for the local population.
Massnahme 4.3: Regelungen für den Schweizer Rohstoffhandel
Ab 2025 ist es in der Schweiz ansässigen Unternehmen verboten, mit fossilen Brennstoffen zu handeln, sie zu fördern oder finanzielle, administrative oder technische Unterstützung für ihre Produktion zu leisten.
From 2025 onwards, companies based in Switzerland will be prohibited from extracting fossil fuels (namely oil, natural gas and coal), promoting them or providing financial, administrative or technical support for their production.
The Swiss commodity marketplace will have to withdraw completely from climate-damaging raw materials. Individual Swiss companies are heavily involved in the mining of coal, but if Switzerland wants to set an example in climate policy, such activities must no longer be approved.
There is, of course, the danger that raw materials companies will relocate their headquarters to a country without the appropriate regulations. However, this should not be an excuse to tolerate their harmful practices in our own country. Beyond that, the aim should be to soon have similar regulations in place in all parts of the world.
The companies concerned will have to limit their activities to carbon neutral raw materials. Switzerland is making it clear to the international community that fossil fuels are no longer socially acceptable and must stay in the ground.
Due to the possible emigration of affected companies abroad, tax losses can be expected. These losses can be compensated by a slight adjustment of the cantonal taxes, as these companies are typically located in cantons with low tax rates anyway.
The additional administrative costs for the introduction and periodic review of compliance with the regulation should be included in the budget of the relevant federal offices and tax audit offices. Revenue from penalties for non-compliance will be used to finance other climate protection measures.
Apart from the tax losses discussed above, no negative social consequences are to be expected.
Massnahme 4.4: Netto Null-Aktionspläne für alle produzierenden Unternehmen.
Alle Unternehmen, die zusätzliche direkte Emissionen produzieren, welche nicht bereits durch die anderen Sektormassnahmen abgedeckt sind, müssen Netto Null-Aktionspläne entwickeln und regelmässig aktualisieren, um bis 2030 eine vollständige Dekarbonisierung zu erreichen. Es gibt drei Kategorien von Massnahmen: a) wirtschaftlich machbar, b) technisch machbar, aber unrentabel und c) fehlende technische Realisierbarkeit.
It is assumed that the sector policies for the building sector will decarbonize heating in industry and services already. Electricity consumption, district heating and use of transportation (people and goods) are already covered by other sector policies. All companies that produce additional direct emissions that are not already covered by the other sector policies have to develop net-zero action plans to fully decarbonize by 2030 in line with the reduction path to stay within the carbon budget (see introduction - GHG Budget). These remaining producing facilities – probably several thousand only – must submit in 2021 a net-zero emissions plan. The plans will then be third party verified.
The plans must list all measures necessary to transform the company no later than by 2030 into a net-zero-emission company. The needed transformation measures are listed in three categories:
- measures that are economically viable with an 8 year pay back assuming that no remaining depreciation costs of existing equipment occur and that external GHG costs are fully internalized following measures 2&3. (net-zero ready and viable)
- measures that are technically feasible but uneconomic under the conditions mentioned in a), e.g., producing biogas from manure to fuel high-temperature processes. (net-zero ready but uneconomic)
- measures that lack proven technical feasibility at the scale needed, e.g., synthetic kerosene produced from sun converters (unproven technology)
Concerning type (a) measures, even if new net-zero compatible production facilities would pay for themselves a company could argue that the existing facility is not yet paid off in the books. However, this is part of the investment risks associated by making business. The science is established since 1990 and the global climate policy established in 2015 with the Paris agreement.
Net-zero company plans need to be updated every three years (2024, 2027) and need third party verification. Companies without such plans lose their license to operate.
Already now the agencies EnAW and ACT are supported by the government to help companies to draw emission reduction plans. This mandate would be adapted, and the support increased to cover all companies that have to provide a plan.
Although the plan itself may already have some impact it is the combined impact with measure 5-7 of this chapter that is relevant. To have such a plan is not only vital for business and investment planning but also mentally. Dividing the decarbonization task in groups of measures and knowing that financial or/and technical support will come may make the challenge more acceptable.
No concerns so far
Questions and Uncertainties
It is not clear whether enough decarbonization experts and tools are available by 2021. It may be necessary to limit the first period from 2021-2023 to companies with emissions above 100t CO2eq per year or that are already members of EnAW or ACT.
The split of measure into the categories a) to c) is at this time not known, but first guesses are included.
Massnahme 4.5: Umsetzung aller fertigen und umsetzbaren Netto-Null-Massnahmen
Bis 2030 müssen alle Massnahmen des Typs a) umgesetzt sein. Andernfalls wird dem Unternehmen die Betriebsgenehmigung entzogen. Um die Umsetzung zu beschleunigen, erhalten Unternehmen einen Early-Mover-Bonus.
Companies are encouraged to implement all net-zero ready and viable measures (category a) measures as soon as possible. By 2030 all net-zero ready and viable measures from the 2027 plan need to be implemented. Otherwise their operation license is revoked.
To speed up the implementation companies get an early mover bonus. The difference between the 10-fold emissions of 2020 and the effective emissions from 2021 through 2030 get rewarded by a bonus of CHF 50 per ton of CO2eq. The earlier a company implements all measures the more bonus it gets.
This bonus should also pay for investments that have not yet been depreciated. The money could come from the GHG levy or the BTA net income. Implementation starts 2021 at the pace chosen by the company.
The investments would be made by the companies and refinanced by the financial industry, as it is the usual process today. Since the investments pay for themselves, the risks for the financial industry are in principle low. However, companies that struggle for other reasons and will not survive for another 8 years in the view of the financial industry will have troubles to get any new money.
Assuming that half of the decarbonization measures fall under this policy and that they are performed thanks to the early mover incentive already by 2025 then a total of 30 Mt CO2eq at 50 CHF/t need to be rewarded equaling 1.5 billion CHF. This amount can be taken from the CO2-levy or BTA revenue.
About 10 million tons of CO2eq per year concern production related emissions. If half of the decarbonization measures concern net-zero ready and viable measures, this means reductions of 5 million tons per year by 2030.
Some companies may not be able to lend the needed investment means because their business model is considered too weak for a safe investment. In some regions (structurally poor, alpine etc.) a closure of such companies would have effects on employment. Most cantons have their own regional banks and can make sure that no companies go out of business that could survive without this policy measure. However, in order to get new companies starting their business the cantonal economic and location promotion institutions should focus on net-zero suppliers. Furthermore. the educational system needs to be adjusted on all levels to provide enough trained employees and experts.
Questions and Uncertainties
It is not clear whether there are enough trained planners, engineers and installers. Also, the producers of certain equipment may have problems to scale up their production, especially if the demand increases globally.
Massnahme 4.6: Unterstützung aller fertigen, aber unwirtschaftlichen Netto-Null-Massnahmen
Für die Durchführung von Massnahmen des Typs b) stellt eine Fachstelle sowohl finanzielle als auch technische Unterstützung für Prozess- und Produktinnovationen zur Verfügung. Dies senkt die Kosten für die Unternehmen.
A specialized unit/agency/foundation investigates all net-zero plans that lists net-zero ready but uneconomic measures (category b). These plans are grouped according to sectors and type of measures and the following groupings are made:
- Measures that concern sectors/products of very limited future roles. (e.g., upgrade for an oil refinery if oil demand in Switzerland would be close to zero in 2030)
- Measures that would become affordable if the learning curve continues or minimal critical demand is created.
- Measures that are likely to stay expensive
The regulation would make sure that companies with (I)-measures have to implement them anyway or close operations of the respective production line by 2030.
For (II) measures the unit/agency/foundation would provide both financial support and relevant purchasing vehicles in order to bring down the cost. “Contracts for difference” that have been used when power from renewables were uneconomic could also be used to accelerate industrial learning curves and ensure fair risk- and cost-sharing between producers and a supporting agency.
For (III) measures the unit/agency/foundation would engage with the concerned companies to analyze the long-term prospects of their products/services and likely global market scenarios including both technological alternatives and product alternatives. Financial and technical support for both process and product innovation and interim support for installing uneconomic net-zero compatible technology would be part of the support package.
The money could come from the GHG levy or the BTA net income. This support program is supposed to have a sunset clause, e.g., 2035. It is assumed that the needed support will be reduced thanks to spill-overs from other fast decarbonizing economies.
Probably 40% of the decarbonization measure could fall under this goal. This means that around 4 million tons CO2 would be reduced by 2030. The support for type (II) and (III) measures would create positive spill-over on a global level.
See social compatibility of Policy 4.5.
Questions and Uncertainties
It remains unclear what the split would be in reality and how support in (II) and (III) measures would bring down the costs.
The abortion of type (I) measures may lead to some temporary increase of imports.
Massnahme 4.7: Netto Null-Technologie-Programm
Um alle Netto-Null-Pläne umzusetzen, sind neue Technologien erforderlich. Unternehmen, die auf die Entwicklung von Massnahmen des Typs c) angewiesen sind, werden auf ihre langfristigen Perspektiven hin untersucht und dann dabei unterstützt, diese neuen Technologien frühzeitig zu implementieren.
In order to achieve net-zero plans, the creation of new technologies is required such as new energy storage technologies, more efficient technologies for generating energy from renewable sources, a more efficient creation of lab-grown meat for human consumption, the development of more energy-efficient machines or materials which, when applied, lead to a reduction in the consumption of resources and energy.
Companies that depend on the development of type (c) measures to transform to net-zero will be screened for their long-term prospects and then supported to become early implementers of these new technologies.
In order to achieve a quick diffusion, technologies that have been financed with state funds should be shared proactively and their patent protection should be limited.
Of course, it will not be possible for Switzerland to develop the necessary technologies on its own. Other regions, especially the EU, work both on framework conditions (strengthened climate laws to achieve stricter targets by 2030) and allocating relevant resources to the transition (Green Deal Fund). Therefore, cooperation makes sense and may open up large markets. Switzerland is predestined to play a leading role in the development of such technologies given its good education system and existing innovation experience.
A specialized unit/agency/foundation investigates all net-zero plans that list unproven technologies (category (c) measures from policy 4). This should involve existing bodies such as innosuisse, core, and further experts from private industry and universities. These plans are grouped according to the technological barriers that need to be overcome. Based on already running technology initiatives in Switzerland and especially abroad (net-zero steel, CCS, batteries, etc.) the relevance for the Swiss industrial sector and the competence already in place, the technological challenges are selected to become national priority programs or programs to be pushed bilaterally.
These programs would make sure that optimal conditions are provided through all stages including the stages of industrialization. Existing large scale research programs of the format Horizon 2020 are likely to be both too slow and too little oriented towards implementation. Funds from the technology pillar in the EU-ETS revenue scheme may be more appropriate.
Due to the short time until 2030 on the one hand and the often slow and unpredictable avenue of innovation this goal is very pressing, and a large failure rate should be accepted to get enough programs that run in parallel and deliver eventually.
Cement production is a very relevant source of emissions in Switzerland. Demand will be significantly reduced by 2030 due to a moratorium on new infrastructure (see chapter Cross Sectoral Policies). For renovation however, there is a short term need to equip at least one cement plant with a CCS or/and CCU unit. If feasibility is demonstrated at industrial scale further cement plants could be made climate proof. At the same time, however, demand should be reduced since cement will become much more expensive and will be replaced by other materials or used more efficiently, as has already been demonstrated in pilot projects (NEST at EMPA).
The chemical industry is a very relevant user of fossil fuels for its products. Finding substitutes for all purposes or synthesizing them from H2 and CO2 will be a challenge within this short time. To support this change, the chemical industry will also receive specific support from this technology program through (global) competitions using the mission challenge approach or other means to find solutions on a large scale.
In Switzerland, CHF 665.5 million was spent on promoting innovation in the environmental sector in 2015. However, around 80% of this amount was spent on basic or applied research. Less than CHF 60 million was spent on industrial piloting and market implementation (FOEN 2020a). Hence, the government’s expenditures to date - especially for the market implementation of green technologies - has been very modest. By contrast, the federal agriculture budget for 2017 was around CHF 3.7 billion (Wehrli and Can 2019). Given the current ecological challenges, it should thus be possible to substantially increase the financial resources for the generation of green technologies in the future.
The money will come from existing funds for R&D, lighthouse projects and export support agencies. In Switzerland the limitation will be the existing scientists and engineers that can work on such innovations. This will keep additional costs below 1 billion per year.
The effect of the development of such technologies will not be limited to Swiss companies and households, because the technologies will also be used abroad. The ecological (and probably also economic) effect of the development of such technologies is accordingly large.
If negative emissions and aviation are not considered we estimate that 10% of the needed reductions will belong to this category, which means 1 million t by 2030. However, the potential spill-over globally could be huge and open interesting prospects for the Swiss industry.
As mentioned above, other and larger economies will enter this race as well. So spill-over effects into Switzerland may be significant as well and needed to drive down the cost of new technologies. To be able to benefit from these spillovers, however, it is important for Switzerland to build up a certain amount of knowledge. Only in this way will it be possible to benefit from existing knowledge abroad. A purely free-riding strategy will hardly work in this area, as new technologies in the green sector generally require very specific knowledge that can hardly be transferred from traditional technologies (Stucki and Woerter 2017).
No expected negative effects.
Questions and Uncertainties
A popular saying argues that innovations are oversold on a short term and underestimated on a long term. Therefore, it remains unclear how fast unproven technology today can be a solution in 2030. The moratorium for new infrastructure may reduce the hazard but post 2030 solutions are badly needed.
Kapitel 5: Energieversorgung
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 5.1: kantonales Handelssystem für Stromzertifikate
Das Handelssystem verpflichtet die Kantone jährlich eine gewisse Quote an erneuerbarem Strom zu liefern. Die Zertifikate können zwischen den Kantonen eingetauscht werden. Das System setzt Anreize für den Ausbau erneuerbarer Energieerzeugung und bietet gleichzeitig Flexibilität.
In order to scale up renewable electricity generation at the necessary rate, appropriate locations for large-scale installations need to be quickly designated and made available for public and private project developers. Therefore, we propose as flagship policy a cantonal electricity certificate trading scheme. This scheme requires cantons to supply an annual quota of renewable electricity which is allocated based on the cantons’ population size. Cantons that supply surplus renewable electricity are given certificates which they can then trade with cantons that do not manage to match the required renewable electricity generation.
The advantages of this scheme are fourfold: First, the scheme is a simple tool to incentivize all cantons to scale up their renewable electricity generation and to find suitable locations on their territory for additional installations. It also pushes the cantons to adapt cantonal policies and their spatial planning to accommodate such installations as well as improve and accelerate internal (permitting) processes. It may also incentivize cantons to offer additional support to renewable energy project developers, such as feasibility studies, resource information, low-cost financing, etc. Second, it takes into account cantons’ different renewable energy potentials and offers them the flexibility to choose the technologies most suitable to their conditions. For instance, some cantons offer high wind resources whereas others may rather focus on solar PV. Third, it ensures the political support by the numerous mountainous cantons as their potential for renewable electricity generation is generally high and the scheme may thus offer an additional source of income. Fourth, it offers the cantons flexibility in terms of the pathways chosen to achieve their targets. They can take local political feasibility into account when deciding which technologies to deploy and where.
The policy does not need any financing except to set up the certificate trading system, which corresponds to a small amount and is therefore neglected at this point. In theory, the policy is also neutral to cantonal finances as long as cantons comply with their respective capacity targets. However, in practice, some cantons that do not meet their targets will have to buy certificates from overachieving cantons and thus strain their cantonal finances. To alleviate such cantons, the cantonal electricity certificate trading system could partially replace the existing cantonal fiscal transfer payments. Cantons with net benefits from these transfer payments are often the more peripheral and mountainous cantons with small population sizes. They also mostly offer high renewable energy potential thanks to their high land availability, high wind and hydro power resources as well as solar PV resources in the wintertime. These cantons will thus most likely be overachieving in terms of their renewable energy targets and thus additionally benefit from the certificate trading scheme.
The impact of the policy on renewable energy deployment is considered high as it aligns cantonal interests with the national targets. As a reaction to the proposed policy, cantons will create a favorable policy environment for public and private actors to invest in renewable energy installations and thus make sure that the national renewable energy targets are implemented on the ground.
Social compatibility is high as the cantons are given the flexibility to choose how to achieve their targets and thus take actions that are compatible with local political feasibility.
Questions and Uncertainties
Questions and uncertainties remain regarding the specific design of the policy:
- How are the specific cantonal targets set? We propose to allocate them based on cantons’ population size. However, other criteria or a mix thereof are also conceivable, such as economic activity, current electricity consumption, tax revenues, etc. Yet, we deem it important to keep the scheme simple and to base the criteria on easily measurable parameters which cannot be hampered by cantonal policies.
- What happens to cantons with small surface area, such as Basel-Stadt, Geneva or Zug? Are they treated equally, or do they receive an upfront bonus? We suggest that they are treated equally as they represent financially strong cantons. They may have to primarily rely on their rooftop solar PV potential or may offer additional electricity services such as large-scale storage if these are included in the scheme (see next bullet point).
- For what product are the certificates traded, e.g. renewable electricity, renewable energy capacity? Does the product’s value change according to the time of delivery, e.g. is electricity delivered at peak time of higher value? Is large-scale electricity storage included in the policy?
Massnahme 5.2: Solarpflicht für geeignete Dächer
Gebäudeeigentümer*innen sind verpflichtet, eine PV-Solaranlage zu bauen, wenn ihre Dächer als geeignet erachtet werden. Die Stromerzeugung wird kostendeckend vergütet, so dass für Hauseigentümer*innen keine zusätzlichen Kosten entstehen.
Building owners - whether public or private - are obligated to build solar PV installations on their roofs within 10 years if their roofs offer medium, good or very good suitability according to Sonnendach.ch. The size of the installation needs to be adapted to the size of the roof not to own electricity needs. Installations receive a cost-covering remuneration. Exemptions are made for buildings that serve additional purposes, such as buildings declared historic monuments.
To incentivize compliance with the requirement, building owners are obligated to pay an annual fee per square meter of roof surface with the abovementioned quality that is not used for solar PV. The fee continuously increases for the first 10 years. The annual fee cannot be shifted to tenants. Periodically, the capacity additions are monitored and, if necessary, the fee is additionally increased.
We propose a linearly increasing fee from 0 CHF/m2 in 2020 to 20 CHF/m2 in 2030 as one square meter can host an 200W of solar PV with an annual electricity production of approximately 200 kWh. Assuming a remuneration of 10Rp/kWh, this output corresponds to the 20 CHF/m2.
The remuneration of the electricity produced by the rooftop solar PV installations is financed by the existing consumer surcharge on the electricity tariff which needs to be raised accordingly. If we assume that existing suitable rooftops may offer a solar PV potential of 24 TWh and that this production is remunerated at 10 Rp/kWh for 15 years, the total remuneration would amount to:
(Note that this amount is not additive to today’s expenses for electricity. It partially replaces electricity generation cost from other sources, such as nuclear power or imports.)
Assuming that all the installations are built in 2020 and an annual electricity consumption of 50 TWh, the surcharge which would need to be paid until 2035 would amount to:
(Note that for simplicity the calculated values are nominal and not discounted.)
As not all building owners may have the capital necessary to invest in a solar PV installation, additional financing options may be provided by the cantons or the federal government or mandated finance institutes, such as cantonal banks, a green investment bank, or a climate fund. One option would be interest-free loans provided by the banks backed by the federal authorities with credit guarantees equivalent to what is being done in the current Corona pandemic. The same could also be done via interest-free increases of mortgages for climate-friendly renovations. Changes in the regulation of mortgages may also help. However, in these cases, the cost-covering remuneration needs to be adjusted.
The impact of this policy on solar PV deployment is expected to be very high as suitable roofs will be effectively used. Increasing the non-compliance fee over time ensures rapid increases in solar PV capacity which is necessary to achieve the targets for 2030.
The policy requires building owners to make investments that they are not necessarily able or willing to do. However, financial support can alleviate some of the constraints imposed on building owners (see above). We also would like to point out that a majority of building owners belong to the financially prosperous sections of the population and the design of the policy ensures that the building owners do not lose money. Additionally, a solar PV installation constitutes a very small share of the total cost of a building but adds to its overall value.
At this point, we would like to refer to a similar policy in Switzerland adopted in 1963: The regulation regarding air-raid shelters implemented in the Law on Civil Protection (BABS / FOCP) . This law required every building in Switzerland to either dispose of an air-raid shelter or to pay for one in a different building. Such requirements are thus not unknown in this country. Interestingly, even the construction costs for air-raid shelters have the same order of magnitude than the ones for a solar PV installation (roughly CHF 20’000).
Questions and Uncertainties
The proposed policy raises many questions and uncertainties some of which are the following:
- Non-compliance fee: Is the fee high enough to incentivize building owners to invest in a solar PV installation? Could the fee be replaced with other incentives for building owners to comply with the requirements?
- Permits: As of now, building owners have to acquire permits to build solar PV installations on their roofs. Should these permits be abolished, or can they be simplified (see Policy 4)?
- Unsuited roofs: What about building owners with unsuited roofs according to Sonnendach.ch? Should they also be incentivized to build solar PV installations? Should they be required to pay the fee?
Massnahme 5.3: Versteigerung von PPAs für grosse EE-Anlagen
Stromabnahmeverträge für grosse erneuerbare Energieanlagen werden versteigert. Es wird eine gleichbleibende Mindestvergütung für den erzeugten Strom angeboten. Die Investitionsrisiken werden so erheblich reduziert. Dies zieht neue Investitionen in den heimischen Markt für erneuerbare Energien.
In order to increase their renewable electricity generation and comply with their mandated quota (see Policy 5.1), cantons will have to make suitable areas available for large-scale RE installations. In case the cantons cannot or do not want to find a project developer or Policy 1 is not implemented, competitive auctions for power purchase agreements (PPAs) should be organized by a central public entity, for instance Pronovo. PPAs represent contracts between an electricity generator and an electricity buyer and define the conditions at which electricity is sold, e.g. the duration of the contract, the price paid as well as the specific product delivered. Experiences from other countries show that competitive auctions for PPAs have been implemented with great success. Portugal, for instance, achieved record-low solar PV auction results in July 2019 with remuneration levels as low as 1.48 EURct./kWh for a duration of 15 years (Rojo Martin 2019). In Germany, various solar PV auctions in 2019 resulted in remuneration levels between 4.80 and 6.59 EURct./kWh for a duration of 20 years and capacity additions of almost 1.5 GW (Bundesnetzagentur 2019).
With the framework conditions for large-scale renewable energy installations are different in Switzerland compared to these countries, particularly in terms of the maturity of the sector, the current political landscape and labor cost, we do not expect similar outcomes immediately. However, we suggest following other European countries’ example regarding the design of the auctions: They should be technology-specific, held at regular and frequent intervals, follow a pay-as-bid pricing mechanism, define stringent requirements regarding the viability of the bids, offer long-term contracts of minimum 15 years, and either directly remunerate the produced electricity or pay a premium on top of the market price. If the auctions are designed similarly to our neighboring countries’ auctions, we expect more actors to enter the Swiss renewable energy market, including international project developers but also pension funds, which would add momentum to the pace at which new installations are built, increase the quality of the projects, lower the cost and bring us closer towards the 2030 targets.
In case a suitable location is already available for a large-scale renewable energy installation, a location-specific and technology-specific auction can be held. Such auctions are particularly important for installations on parking lots, highway taluses, etc. In the case of location-specific auctions, the respective cantons will provide necessary information, such as wind speed measurements, solar irradiation levels, soil conditions, etc. and all the necessary permits in order to offer a level playing field to all interested actors and speed up the processes.
The remuneration of the electricity produced by the rooftop solar PV installations is financed by the existing consumer surcharge on the electricity tariff which needs to be raised accordingly to ensure the timely construction of new large-scale renewable energy installations. Assuming that, by 2030, all of the wind electricity (1.5 TWh/a) and 10% of solar PV electricity (2.4 TWh/a) are acquired through competitive auctions with contracts of 15 years and a fixed remuneration of 20 Rp./kWh and 8 Rp./kWh for wind and solar PV, respectively, the total remuneration would amount to:
(Note that this amount is not additive to today’s expenses for electricity. It partially replaces electricity generation cost from other sources, such as nuclear power or imports. Neither is this amount additive to the amount calculated for Policy 2 as there are overlaps in the solar PV installations included in the calculations.)
Assuming that all the installations are built in 2020 and an annual electricity consumption of 50 TWh, the surcharge which would need to be paid until 2035 would amount to:
(Note that for simplicity the calculated values are nominal and not discounted.)
The impact of the proposed policy on renewable energy deployment is considered high. As mentioned above, experiences from other countries show how successful competitive auctions can be in terms of acquiring new renewable energy capacity as well as achieving low prices. If appropriately designed, similar results are conceivable for Switzerland.
We also expect the impact of competitive auctions for PPAs to be higher than the impact of auctions for one-off investment grants - the latter being proposed by the Federal Council in the draft for the revised Law on Energy (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft 2020a). The reasons for this expectation are twofold. First, literature shows that financial investors are sensitive to electricity price risks and consequently increase the risk margin on their investments or are reluctant to invest at all (Salm and Wüstenhagen 2018). As opposed to one-off investment grants, PPAs tackle this problem by offering secure revenues for the produced electricity. Second, so far, no other jurisdiction has implemented auctions for one-off investment grants for renewable energy installations. The adoption of such a new support mechanism would thus require interested actors to first become familiar with the scheme and, at best, slow down the scale-up of renewable energy capacity. However, it could also alienate potential project developers and investors and thus hamper the achievement of the targets.
The social compatibility of the policy is high as it reduces costs and ensures the quality of the projects if the auctions are appropriately designed.
Questions and Uncertainties
Questions may arise regarding the appropriate design of the auctions. However, auctions have been popular and thus well tested in many countries. Swiss policymakers may thus profit from these experiences when designing the auctions.
Massnahme 5.4: Vereinfachtes Genehmigungsverfahren
Die Genehmigungsverfahren für Anlagen zur Erzeugung erneuerbarer Energien müssen verkürzt und vereinfacht werden. Wartezeiten und Risiken werden so reduziert.
Permitting is considerably simplified for all renewable energy technologies. Public authorities set up one-stop shops for permitting and limit the process to a few days or weeks. The permitting processes are limited to one governance level, i.e. communes are responsible for the permitting of small-scale installations while large-scale installations are processed at the cantonal level. The possibility to file for an appeal is removed from individuals and limited to associations. The deadline for appeals is considerably shortened. Especially for large-scale installations, lawsuits are only handled by higher-level courts to limit the delays arising from passing through all juridical levels.
For small-scale rooftop solar PV installations, we propose entirely removing the need for permits except in case of buildings that serve superordinate purposes, such as buildings under a preservation order.
The proposed policy does not need considerable financing except to align permitting processes in the cantons.
The impact of the policy on renewable energy deployment is considered high. The proposed policy primarily impacts the speed at which new installations are added as it considerably simplifies and accelerates project planning and execution. It also reduces transaction costs.
The proposed policy is socially compatible.
Questions and Uncertainties
Questions and uncertainties arise regarding the definition of small-scale and large-scale installations as well as the specific authority responsible for the entire permitting process. Also, it remains unclear what kind of buildings would need a permit for a small-scale rooftop solar PV installation.
Massnahme 5.5: Unterstützungsprogramm zur Schulung von RE-Personal
Um den Kapazitätsausbau der erneuerbaren Energien in der erforderlichen Geschwindigkeit voranzutreiben, wird zusätzliches Personal benötigt (ca. 2500 Arbeitsplätze in der Planung und ca. 17000 Arbeitsplätze für die Montage). Gleichzeitig kompensiert diese Massnahme den Verlust von Arbeitsplätzen in CO2-intensiven Branchen. Falls nötig könnte kurzfristig das Militär für die weniger qualifizierten Arbeiten, wie der Montage, eingesetzt werden.
The rapid scale-up of renewable energy capacity will require additional personnel for the planning and mounting of these installations. More specifically, for the peak year 2031, we expect an additional need for 2,500 planners and 17,000 installers (see subsection Personnel Requirements). In order to meet this demand, the federal and cantonal governments will institute and support programs at Universities of Applied Sciences and professional schools (dt. höhere Fachschulen) to train the necessary number of RE personnel, specifically the planners. For the lower skilled job of mounting the installations, the federal and cantonal authorities ensure training programs (e.g. in combination with a public job-program, see Policy 9.1) and provide the necessary boundary conditions to additionally deploy military personnel.
The amount of financing necessary to implement this policy is unclear.
The impact of this policy on solar PV deployment is considered very high as the rapid scale-up of renewable energy capacity is largely dependent on the domestic renewable energy sector and its capacity to handle the demand. This policy would support the sector in increasing the availability of educated personnel.
Social compatibility of this policy is considered high. The policy combats unemployment in an efficient and meaningful way and provides opportunities for workers in emission-intensive industries whose jobs have been cut in the course of the ecological transition.
Questions and Uncertainties
Questions and uncertainties remain regarding how timely high-quality education programs for renewable energy planners can be ramped up and suitable candidates found.
Massnahme 5.6: Abschaffung sämtlicher Netzgebühren für Speichertechnologien
Die für die meisten Speichertechnologien noch bestehenden Netzgebühren werden aufgehoben. Die Verantwortung für die Netzstabilität und damit für Investitionen in genügend Speicherkapazität liegt bei den Netzbetreiber*innen. Die Betreiber*innen können die anfallenden Kosten an die Endverbraucher*innen weitergeben.
With increasingly intermittent electricity generation, storage and grid stability become important. To support the deployment of various storage technologies, all storage technologies are exempted from paying grid charges. The responsibility to invest in necessary storage and thus ensure grid stability lies with the grid operators. They are free in choosing in which storage technology to invest. Grid operators can transmit the incurred cost for storage and the grid to the electricity consumers.
When assessing measures in the electricity grid, variants for grid expansion, grid reinforcement and grid optimization are compared and the variant that is most economical over the entire planning horizon is implemented. As a rule, the grid should only be expanded if a secure, effective and efficient grid during the entire planning horizon cannot be guaranteed by optimization or reinforcement. Grid optimization can include the control of flexibilities, for example demand-side management, power control of PV systems or the grid-friendly use of storage systems.
The cost incurred for storage and grid stability are transmitted to the electricity consumers as is already done today.
The impact of this policy on storage deployment and grid stability is considered high as the grid operators can invest in necessary infrastructure timely and in an unbureaucratic manner.
Social compatibility is considered high.
Questions and Uncertainties
One question arises regarding small-scale storage: Should small-scale storage, such as small batteries to increase household self-consumption, receive support as well?
Also, the grid operators need to be overlooked by a central authority to avoid incentivizing the construction of unnecessary infrastructure.
Massnahme 5.7: Unterstützung für Solar- & Pv-Anlagen auf Freiflächen
Die Kantone prüfen, wo Solar- & Pv-Anlagen auf Freiflächen sinnvoll sein können und passen das Raumplanungsgesetz entsprechend an.
Open-space solar PV installations are not specifically prohibited in the Spatial Planning Act (dt. Raumplanungsgesetz). However, neither are they specifically encouraged or have a chance of obtaining the necessary permits, see e.g. (Bundesversammlung 2012). We propose that the federal authorities should examine where open-space solar PV could make sense, e.g. above vegetable crops that need shading, and adapt the Spatial Planning Act accordingly in order for cantons, communes as well as private landowners to open up their land for solar PV deployment.
The proposed policy does not need considerable financing.
The impact of the policy on solar PV deployment is considered moderate. It would take several years for open-space solar PV to be allowed. However, once the regulation is adapted, scale-up of solar PV deployment could happen very fast.
We do not expect the permission of open-space solar PV to have an impact on solar PV deployment on existing buildings as feared by the Federal Office of Energy.
The social compatibility of this policy remains unclear. Careful consideration of social acceptance towards open-space solar PV is necessary. However, positive side-effects of open-space solar PV, such as increased biodiversity (Busch et al. 2019), may increase the social acceptance not only for open-space solar PV but also for other climate-friendly measures, such as the reforestation of unused areas.
Questions and Uncertainties
Questions and uncertainties remain regarding the type of land that could and would be opened for open-space solar PV and thus the potential that could be tapped into. Also, it remains unclear how quickly such regulation could be adapted.
Massnahme 5.8 : Zusammensetzung der Stromtarife
Das derzeitige Stromtarifsystem mit hohen und niedrigen Sätzen wird zugunsten eines flexibleren marktorientierten Tarifsystems aufgegeben. Das künftige System wird mehr an eine von Unterbrechungen geprägte, erneuerbare Energieerzeugung angepasst. Wir stellen uns ein Tarifsystem mit stündlichen Stromtarifen und Kapazität oder Netz bezogenen Netzgebühren vor, um einen Anreiz für den Verbrauch von lokal erzeugtem Strom zu Spitzenproduktionszeiten zu schaffen.
Current electricity tariffs include the price for the consumed electricity besides grid charges, taxes and the consumer surcharge for renewable energy deployment. We propose to structure the tariffs in a more market-based manner to reflect future production regimes with higher shares of intermittent renewable energy generation. If structured appropriately, the electricity tariffs may increase energy efficiency and reduce the need for additional intraday storage capacity. On the one hand, the current scheme with high and low electricity prices should be abandoned and replaced with a more flexible scheme. Here, we envision electricity prices that are adapted at least hourly to the current market price. This rewards electricity consumption at peak electricity generation. On the other hand, the grid charges should be imposed depending on the used network level, on the used capacity or combinations thereof. Hence, the consumption of locally produced electricity is incentivized which reduces the need for investments in the transmission grid.
As an alternative to the above proposed tariff structure, we could also envision flat-rate electricity tariffs similar to existing mobile phone tariff structures where a specified amount of energy and grid usage is included in a monthly tariff and the consumer pays extra for additional electricity consumption. The monthly tariff may also be adapted to reflect intraday electricity price fluctuations by including more energy usage at peak production hours. Such a tariff structure may improve energy efficiency.
Generally, we deem it important to abandon the current structure of the electricity tariffs as it does not correspond to expected future electricity generation regimes.
The proposed policy requires the replacement of current electricity meters with meters that monitor the time of use. However, such a replacement is currently ongoing and would thus not incur higher cost. Importantly, electricity consumers should be allowed to choose where to buy their electricity meter from.
The proposed policy incentivizes electricity consumers to align their consumption with electricity production and could thus add to grid stability. Additionally, it would incentivize installations that generate off-peak electricity, such as solar PV installations on façades, as well as intraday storage, such as batteries. It may also incentivize operators of pumped-storage hydropower plants to align their operations with actual consumption behavior and thus add to grid stability.
The proposed policy requires the replacement of current electricity meters for all households as well as behavioral changes as the current pricing scheme will be abandoned. This may court the resentment of some parts of society.
Questions and Uncertainties
Questions and uncertainties remain:
- Communication of electricity prices: How are the current prices communicated to electricity consumers? Do they know about future prices?
- Self-consumption: How is self-consumption remunerated? Do the grid charges also apply to buildings that generate their own electricity?
Kapitel 6: Landwirtschaft & Ernährung
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 6.1 : Freihandelsabkommen
Die Schweizer Regierung muss sowohl geplante als auch bestehende, landwirtschaftliche Handelsabkommen überarbeiten. Die Abkommen sollen strengere Klima- und Sozialstandards einhalten. Neue Handelsabkommen für landwirtschaftliche Produkte sollen auf ein Minimum reduziert werden und dürfen nur abgeschlossen werden, wenn sie eine Klima- und Menschenrechtsverträglichkeitserklärung enthalten.
Roughly two-thirds of the CO2 emissions that result from today’s consumption in Switzerland are produced outside of the country (FSO 2020a). Under the principle of territoriality, however, Switzerland and other industrial nations have assumed very little responsibility for the emissions it produces abroad in the past. In order to obtain an accurate picture of Switzerland’s carbon footprint and initiate mitigating measures it is time to acknowledge the detrimental environmental consequences of Swiss consumption, irrespective of where exactly they are produced. This also implies that Switzerland must necessarily be held accountable for any negative side effects its consumption patterns entail in the realm of human rights and labor standards abroad.
The Swiss government must revise both planned and existing trade agreements that cover agricultural products so that they adhere to strict and enforceable environmental and social standards. New trade agreements for agricultural products should be reduced to a minimum and may only be concluded if they contain an environmental and human rights compatibility statement. Any such compatibility statement must necessarily include the following provisions:
- The trade agreement merely allows for the import of crops that are cultivated on already existing cropland.
- Trade agreements are only possible if the production of the goods in the other country fulfills location-appropriate ecological standards and if the relevant government takes serious action to achieve and support a sustainable food production.
- The Swiss government must commit itself to provide financial support to agricultural extension programs in order to boost local knowledge on how to grow the traded crops in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner.
- Trade agreements must contain provisions on how to mitigate the socio-economic and human rights implications of the agreement.
For trade agreements that have already been implemented such statements must be added where necessary. These compatibility statements must be complemented by an environmental and human rights impact analysis that helps assessing whether the products covered by the respective free trade agreement comply with strict environmental and human rights standards. In addition, new and already existing trade agreements to which Switzerland is a signatory party must encompass concrete provisions on how the exporting country continuously and efficiently monitors the production process’ compliance with these standards.
Based on the overarching goal to render Swiss consumption environmentally and socially sustainable, Switzerland must ban all import products that fail to meet these standards. The Swiss government must equally assure that Switzerland has the right to terminate trade agreements should other signatory parties to a trade agreement be convicted of fooling their trade partners regarding the environmental and social impact of the traded products. This ensures that Switzerland neither fosters the production of environmentally harmful products nor neglects human rights and labor standards abroad.
At the same time, it is crucial to acknowledge that a shift in Swiss diets towards dramatically reduced animal product consumption is key to mitigate the negative side effects associated with agricultural trade (Eggenberger, Jungbluth, and Keller 2016; Balogh and Jambor 2020; Jungbluth, Itten, and Schori 2012). The Policy Measures Concerning Swiss Food Consumption below fleshes out several measures that shall help achieve this: The Swiss government must encourage different Federal Offices (e.g. BLW, BAG, BLV and BAFU) to map out a cross-sectoral nutrition strategy plan that promotes a healthy and climate-friendly diet in Switzerland; Renders the production of plant products financially attractive and ensures that producers have access to technical support where necessary; Raises the Swiss population’s awareness of alternative diets; Stops subsidizing animal sourced food publicity and continuously increases taxes on animal sourced food. To multiply the impact of these policy measures, Switzerland should nevertheless promote to limit export of agricultural products, first and foremost meat and dairy products, in international negotiation. If traded meat volumes remain high and Swiss consumers resist to change their diets, the Swiss government must consider the outright ban of meat imports.
The advanced trade liberalization also forces Swiss policy makers to take continuous care of the Swiss agricultural sector. It is mainly the giant industrial agri-businesses that benefit from eroding barriers in agricultural trade. The growing dominance of these large industrial players poses a severe threat to local producers who are unable to compete with the masses of cheap imported agricultural products under an increasingly liberal trade regime. It follows that there is a strong need to ensure that all trade agreements signed do not undermine the survival of the Swiss agricultural sector that adheres to comparatively high environmental standards. Accordingly, no trade agreements may grant agricultural products access into the Swiss market whose production and transportation emits large quantities of carbon dioxide and methane, pollutes and depletes water resources or soil in the country of production and clears primary forests. Crucially, Switzerland must maintain the right to prevent environmentally harmful agricultural products from entering the country. Along these lines, the Swiss government may not join trade agreements that allocate legal arbitration power to non-transparent arbitral tribunals. Rather, the process of drafting, implementing and monitoring of those new free trade agreements deemed necessary must include Swiss politicians, civic community representatives and scientists and their counterparts in the respective countries.
Two final issues related with the endeavors to curb agricultural trade liberalization deserve attention as well. Firstly, we acknowledge the potential of agricultural free trade agreements to address imbalances of global food supplies by transferring foods from surplus regions to regions that grapple with diminishing yields due to climate change driven weather extremes (H. Huang, von Lampe, and Tongeren 2011; Ludi et al. 2007). If Switzerland can contribute to a steady supply of food products to poverty-stricken regions that are hit by the repercussions of climate change via free trade agreements, the Swiss government should engage in such “supportive free trade agreements”. Those agreements must nevertheless adhere to the general guideline of mitigating CO2 emissions and producing sustainably within Switzerland.
Secondly, we recognize the risk that discrimination of certain products based on environmental concerns might be in tension with WTO rules to which Switzerland is a signatory party. Legal experts stipulate that existing multilateral trade rules do not preclude the preferential treatment of sustainable products vis-à-vis their respective conventional counterparts at the border per se (Buergi Bonanomi 2016; Häberli 2018). Yet, arbitration in previous years and legal experts´ interpretation of the WTO rules indicate that the WTO is probably willing to accept state-induced Sustainability Ordinances that concern agricultural imports only if they do not distort full-fledged free trade (Buergi Bonanomi 2016). It is, however, essential that the WTO at least commits to the goals of the Paris Agreement and undertakes serious endeavors to mitigate trade´s carbon footprint accordingly. Modifications of the multilateral trading rules are always possible, and Switzerland should lobby at the international stage for the acceptance of trade barriers that demonstrably discriminate against products with high carbon footprint only. These lobbying attempts will only succeed though if the Swiss government grants radical preferential treatment to domestic environmentally and socially sustainably produced agricultural products, too.
For this topic, see Policy 10.3 of the International Collaboration and Climate Finance chapter
Massnahme 6.2 : Verbot für den Anbau, die Verwendung und den Handel mit Agrotreibstoffen ab 2023
Die Schweizer Regierung muss die Produktion, Verwendung und die Spekulation von/ mit Agrotreibstoffen ab 2023 vollständig verbieten.
Background information for this policy can be found in the section about Agrofuels.
It is important to state that agrofuels are not a panacea to the global climate crisis and risk diverting attention from the ultimate need to leave oil in the soil. Therefore, the Swiss government must thus ban the production, usage and speculation of agrofuels altogether from 2023 onwards. This ban must necessarily apply to both the automobile and the aviation sector. However, based on the ample evidence gathered on the microalgae system’s potential to become a truly sustainable alternative to fossil fuels they should be explicitly exempted from the ban for the time being. This exemption must be both continually reviewed and immediately revoked if more evidence about the negative environmental side effects of microalgae agrofuel production appears. Until the ban enters into force, tight transparency rules must be enforced to make traders and retailers of agrofuels disclose full information on the origin, composition and production processes of agrofuels that are currently used in Switzerland. This will foster a better understanding of the features of agrofuels used in Switzerland and help draft the envisaged ban of agrofuels.
Massnahme 6.3 : Internationale Agrarkonzerne in der Schweiz
In der Schweiz ansässige Agrarkonzerne müssen sich global für eine nachhaltigere Agrarproduktion einsetzen. Zu diesem Zweck muss die Schweizer Regierung bis Ende 2021 durchsetzbare und verbindliche Rahmenbedingungen und Regeln zum Klimaschutz festlegen. Diese Pläne müssen die folgenden Aspekte umfassen: Berechnung der THG-Emissionen, detaillierte und kontinuierliche THG-Reduktionspläne sowie Transparenz.
Switzerland is home to many international agricultural corporations (headquarters or branch offices in Switzerland) that provide inputs for agricultural production or produce and process agricultural output themselves mainly outside of Switzerland. These Swiss-based players must change fundamentally to render global agricultural production more sustainable. To this end, the Swiss government must democratically establish enforceable and binding frameworks and rules on climate mitigation by the end of 2021 for these companies. Based on these binding frameworks, each corporation must democratically elaborate plans to outline how it intends to cut down its emissions. These plans must necessarily encompass the following aspects:
- A calculation of the amount of GHG that the respective corporation and its subsidiaries currently emit, as well as other environmental impacts e.g. on biodiversity.
- Detailed and consecutive GHG reduction plans of the corporation and its subsidiaries that can be assessed quantitatively and align with the ambition of the Paris Agreement to limit the increase of global warming to below 1.5 °C.
- The corporation and its subsidiaries must fully and transparently cooperate with the state to evaluate their compliance with both their reduction targets and human rights on a rolling basis. If they fail to follow the rules given by the government, there must be effective sanctions.
All corporations and its subsidiaries must necessarily commit themselves to only use already cultivated agricultural land for production on which no one has any claims and to exclude all products from their activities that were grown on land that was cleared to expand agricultural production.
The corporations should elaborate their plans on how to ensure their environmental and social sustainability democratically. This implies that both people who are employed at the corporations and actors that are affected by the corporations’ activities participate equally in the drafting process of the respective corporation´s climate strategy and have no lesser rights than the company shareholders or management. It is the state that controls this process. This inclusive drafting process ensures that the corporations, as well as the affected people and employees, remain in the driving seat. While the transition towards more sustainable and labor-friendly agricultural production will involve considerable costs in many cases, the corporations are demanded to exploit their huge financial clout in order to implement their sustainability plans.
Should the corporations fail to present their mitigation strategies by the end of 2021 or act against the targets defined by the state in the future, the Swiss government must elaborate sanctions that target the non-compliers.
Massnahme 6.4 : Internationaler Handel mit Lebensmitteln in der Schweiz
Der Handel mit Agrarprodukten in der Schweiz muss strenge Umweltstandards beinhalten, um dem Zielen des Pariser Abkommens zu entsprechen. Schweizer Handelsunternehmen müssen sich gesetzlich verpflichten, nur landwirtschaftliche Produkte zu kaufen und zu verkaufen, deren Produktion und Vertrieb der Umwelt möglichst wenig schadet.
Background information for this policy can be found in the section about the International Agricultural Trade.
The trade with agricultural products in Switzerland must adhere to strict environmental standards which align with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. Swiss trading companies must legally commit to only buy and sell agricultural products whose production and distribution inflicts minimal possible damage upon the environment. To this end, agricultural products must be classified according to their environmental and social impacts. This classification should then be promoted by the Swiss government to create a level playing field in international trading relationships. Again, trading agricultural products that were grown in previous forest areas, meadows and pastures shall be strictly prohibited.
Additionally, trade must also guarantee living wages/prices and decent work conditions in the food systems of the exporting countries. Merely relying on Corporate Social Responsibility like the Swiss government mostly does in the realm of agricultural commodity trading these days will not do the job. Rather, the Swiss government must start regulating agricultural commodity traders and ensure that each trading company provides precise and coherent information about both the quantities of agricultural commodities it trades and where and under what labor conditions these commodities are produced on a regular basis. This high degree of transparency has ample positive effects. Firstly, it is key to address the numerous human rights violations and incidents of forced and child labor reported in countries that cultivate and harvest agricultural commodities for export in a targeted manner (Braunschweig, Kohli, and Lan 2019). Secondly, high transparency will help counteract rampant corruption and tax evasion along global agricultural value chains and thereby help exporting countries build up the necessary financial clout to enforce and monitor the compliance with human rights in their agricultural sector and even more generally. Ultimately, state-decreed compliance of agricultural traders with strict transparency rules will increase the leverage of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers in exporting countries over the powerful agricultural trading companies. If Swiss-based agricultural traders should then stand convicted of violating the compulsory human rights and environmental standards abroad the victims of this misconduct must be granted the possibility to sue them in Swiss courts. This will help restore the balance of power along agricultural global value chains.
Those products which are not classified as environmentally and socially sustainable by 2025 must be blacklisted and may no longer be traded by Swiss-based companies from then onwards. Irrespective of this measure, the Swiss government must ensure that all Swiss-based agricultural traders respect, adhere to and help strengthen human rights everywhere.
Massnahme 6.5 : Verbot der Spekulation mit Agrarrohstoffen und Lebensmitteln
Bis Ende 2021 muss die Schweizer Regierung allen institutionellen Investor*innen und Investmentfonds, verbieten, am Agrarrohstoffmarkt teilzunehmen. Banken, Pensionskassen und Hedge-Fonds dürfen dementsprechend keine Finanzprodukte auf der Basis von Lebensmittelrohstoffen mehr anbieten.
Background information for this policy can be found above in the section about the Speculation with Agricultural Commodities and Food.
To strengthen global food security, it is crucial that agricultural commodity prices are both stable and determined by actual global supply of and demand for food crops. Speculators in the food market that prefer food prices to jump continuously in order to financially exploit these variations are an obstacle to this goal. Along these lines, speculative trading in foodstuff must adhere to different rules and principles than speculation in other commodities. By the end of 2021 the Swiss government must ban all institutional investors and investment funds from the agricultural commodity market. Banks, pension funds and hedge funds may no longer retail financial products based on food commodities accordingly.
A major exemption from these stricter regulations concerns the use of future contracts to do price hedging: Food producers, traders and on-traditional speculators in the agricultural commodity market may still use these contracts to hedge against plummeting food prices. However, to close potential loopholes in the food speculation regulations, the government should implement strict limits on the amount of food commodities an individual trader can buy and sell.
Massnahme 6.6 : Sektorübergreifende Ernährungsstrategie
Die Bundesämter BAG, BLW, BLV und BAFU müssen gemeinsam an einer sektorenübergreifenden Ernährungsstrategie arbeiten. Diese Strategie soll eine gesunde und umwelt- und klimafreundliche Ernährung gewährleisten. Die Reduktion des Fleisch- und Milchkonsums dient sowohl dem Klima als auch der Gesundheit. Akteur*innen, die in der Landwirtschaft tätig sind, müssen beim Ausarbeiten der Strategie miteinbezogen werden.
The federal departments BAG, BLW, BLV and BAFU should work on a cross-sectoral plan. This national nutrition strategy should guarantee both a healthy and an environmental- and climate friendly diet. This strategy needs to be elaborated together with people working in these sectors (agriculture, proceeding, sales, gastronomy). Their participation is guaranteed in the strategy.
As Swiss consumers we eat three times more meat than it is recommended by the “Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office” (FSVO 2017). This overconsumption affects our well-being in two ways: it is unhealthy, and we produce greenhouse gases that could be easily reduced (Daniel Bretscher et al. 2018). In the meantime, one third of globally produced food for humans is lost or wasted (Schanes, Dobernig, and Gözet 2018). This estimated 1.3 billion of food wasted per year could feed the people that are still suffering from hunger today (Priefer, Jörissen, and Braeutigam 2016). According to Müller et al. (2017), the reduction of food waste in combination with less meat and animal sourced products consumption would allow an agricultural model without any need to increase productivity while still guaranteeing food security.
From a food-system perspective, a shift in our diet is crucial (see Current Situation). As consumers, our food habits and culture or even individual decisions can directly trigger the supply of climate-friendly products. The condition for consumers to choose a climate friendly and healthy diet should be improved with our policies, so that our society backs up and supports a climate friendly way of food production and a sustainable and healthy food culture.
Especially wealthy consumers, that have a connection or knowledge about the production of their food can bear a great responsibility for the direct and indirect emission of their food.
Today, agricultural policy supports the production of meat, while other federal departments promote the reduction of meat consumption (FSVO 2017). It is not the only contradiction these two departments produce that slows down all efforts to achieve a sustainable nutrition in Switzerland or makes them less effective.
To solve this contradiction researchers, suggest cross-sectoral political actions, which consider the different players (Stolze 2019).
In concrete we would suggest that BAG, BLW, BLV and BAFU should work on a cross-sectoral plan. This national nutrition strategy should guarantee both a healthy and an environmental- and climate friendly diet. As for many issues in today’s food system, solutions like reducing the meat and milk consumption are working for both, the environmental and the health aspect need to be elaborated together with the auteurs active in agriculture and be included in the future plans for Swiss agriculture.
Financing, Implementation & Impact
The aim of this policy is to use the resources that are already used today in a more coherent and efficient way. Additionally, the amount of CHF 40 million that is spent to publicly finance sales promotion of meat and dairy products can be used to improve the elaboration and improvement process of the strategy. We can profit massively from the resources we already spend on these departments, if they focus on working together for a sustainable future nutrition- health- and agriculture-strategy or at least avoid breaking each other out. New decrees regulations and laws need to be in line with the strategy.
Concerning the working strategy, it is evident that the people working in these sectors (agriculture, proceeding, sales, gastronomy) contribute to the elaboration and their participation is guaranteed in the strategy.
A central point therefore can be the support and development of alternative food products, but also income possibilities and models concerning businesses and actors. Therefore, the cultivation, proceeding, product development and connection between the different players within the food chain could be massively supported by educational programs, courses and training platforms for connection between the actors and specific efficient support as we suggested in Policies 6.8, 6.9 and 6.17.
A further supporting tool could be an annual published update magazine which is provided to all people working in the processing, distributing, delivery or selling industry and contains news and aspects about the current climate crisis and a sustainable food system as well as the latest common projects, progresses and new possibilities. This example - or further information tools - should not only be focused on greenwashing existing practices or glorifying tiny changes, but be delicately focused on achieving a net zero emission food system at the needed scale.
The nutrition strategy should be compatible with our needed emissions reduction path and needs to be controlled with accurate estimations. The work of the departments should enable Switzerland to adapt its nutrition to a sustainable, zero emission for both food produced in Switzerland and imported.
Policies in the following chapter can partly be suggested examples for measures of such a plan including a national food waste reduction plan in Policies 6.13, 6.14, 6.15 and 6.16. Even if ours would need to be improved and the list is far from complete.
Massnahme 6.7 : Nachhaltige Ernährung in öffentlichen Kantinen
Öffentliche Kantinen (z.B. in Universitäten, Krankenhäusern usw.) sollen bis 2025 60% ihrer Mahlzeiten und bis 2030 100 % vegan zubereiten. Das Essen muss saisonal und so lokal wie möglich sein.
Each day one million people are eating outside: takeaway, in restaurants or in public canteens (BLV, 2016). Especially public canteens have a great potential to reduce the ecological footprints of their meals.
They can not only convey information about the environmental impact of food, but also show various delicious sustainable menus and offer them at a good price.
People get in touch with those menus, they may get used to them, start being interested in a sustainable diet or start seeing and knowing the different alternatives for animal sourced food (ASF) and the various possibilities for a sustainable and healthy diet.
Vegan and vegetarian sustainable and healthy menus should no longer be just chic or a luxury product they should become the everyday meal in people's lives.
Therefore, all public canteens (such as universities, hospitals etc.) should have:
- 60% of their meal vegetarian or vegan by 2025;
- 100% vegan and vegetarian meals by 2030;
- Furthermore, the food must be as seasonal and local as possible.
Possibilities for a direct supply of food from local farmers or local food waste should be preferred. To organize this supply in an intelligent way and to get the connection with local food producers the canteen manager and worker should be supported by the work of the federal departments for example with platforms for connection and organization but also with help for their specific issues.
As described in policy 6.8 obligatory training for professional chefs and canteen workers on sustainable diet and how to work and prepare these foods will be organized.
Furthermore, materials for information about the food, its production, the environmental impact and needed contexts should be prepared and free to use for the canteens. The canteens are free to creatively create their pathway to sustainable diets by 2030 and the target for 2025. They can have different priorities and are free to use the prepared info material or to convey information about the meals in their own way.
Finally, we propose this measure to be also implemented in the compulsory military service in Switzerland. The time of military service can represent a shaping period in the lifetime of young people in Switzerland. Rising awareness of environmental issues related to food might have a long-term impact on the Swiss society.
The canteens do not need to have higher costs. Money will just be spent on other food. For the transition the national strategy should provide the needed expertise. Education courses and information materials can be organized nationally so that the budget can stay very small.
It is socially compatible as no prices will increase. Especially, large quantities food with none to very little animal sourced food can be prepared with the same amount or even less money. In combination with further measures, it can contribute to a cultural change towards new eating habits.
The measurement should reduce the carbon footprint through sustainable diets in canteens. Based on interventions in 6 canteens in Zurich CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 42% and on average, by 18% given the right coaching on food and their impacts (Ellens et al. 2018). With our measures that go further than the interventions in the study, even more reduction can be expected.
Also, awareness should be raised with the aim to change long term behavior of participants to increased satisfaction and demand for sustainable food.
Massnahme 6.8 : Schulungen für Köche und Köchinnen
Es sollen mehrtägige obligatorische Schulungskurse für alle Köch*innen und Gastronomiebetreiber*innen organisiert werden.
Training courses lasting several days should be mandatory for all Professional chiefs and gastronomy-managers.
The content of these courses is intended to provide an understanding of the current crisis, the consequences and impact on agriculture and the food system, the challenge of a sustainable and productive food system as well as various approaches to solve the problem.
It should then focus on sustainable nutrition and mainly serve as a practical skills training in composing and preparing a sustainable menu as well as organizing access and connections to suppliers for sustainable food.
These courses (as well as aspects in Policy 6.6 or 6.9) should also serve as a platform to connect with people working or studying in other sectors of the food system.
As spending on this Policy will not be much, compared with the government's budget, we have not proposed a specific financing for these courses. There are several possibilities: For instance, it could be financed with a levy or tax on profits for major distributors and other actors in the food sector that made the most profits in recent years (and therefore profited the most from the unsustainable way food was produced and consumed and did not have to pay all the externalized costs - see Policy pricing). Otherwise, it could be financed with revenues from policies 6.11 and 6.12 or co-financed with the department’s available budget for nutrition or already existing education projects in the sector, for example by integrating the project into existing Universities, colleges or other educational programs.
The concrete Impact of such a measure is hard to quantify. Its aim is to create the necessary foundations and connection of people in the food sector to help create the possibilities for the necessary changes. It should educate people and enable them to work actively on solutions. In this sense it should also serve to make the other proposed measures realizable and to improve and guarantee their impact.
Massnahme 6.9 : Unterstützung der Industrie und dem Einzelhandel bei der Umstellung auf nachhaltigere Alternativen
Die Milch- und Fleischindustrie soll beim Umstieg auf die Verarbeitung von nachhaltigen Lebensmitteln unterstützt werden. So können mehr nachhaltige Lebensmittel produziert werden. Eine politisch unabhängige Beratungsinstitution sollte umfassende Informationen über die Umweltauswirkungen von Lebensmitteln und klimafreundliche Alternativen für den Einzelhandel bereitstellen. Sie soll Lebensmittelhändler*innen ermutigen, das Lebensmittelsortiment in Richtung einer nachhaltigeren Ernährung zu verändern.
Cheaper and healthier alternatives to animal sourced food (ASF) should be available on the market. On the political level, not only research on processing of leguminous and other sustainable protein production should be fostered, but also the proceeding sector and the retailers, should be included.
Especially in the processing industry we have many businesses that have been depending on the processing of milk or meat like dairies, cheese dairies or butchers. For them the needed shift in the diet should not conclude in their ruin. Instead they should be supported in proceeding with more and more other foods with similar or different techniques and adapt the development of their products to sustainable food.
A processing culture that evolved by processing milk and meat can use its knowledge and capital also for the processing of other food. Especially those of alternative milk products or fat and protein rich foods. The production of yoghurt for example can, with a very similar procedure also be produced out of Swiss soy instead of Swiss milk.
In general, processes such as enrichment through bacterial processes can also be applied to various other foods and products, especially since we have much more knowledge and possibilities about microbiological and other enrichment processes today than when they were first developed. In order to fully exploit this potential, cooperation with universities and research in the field of nutritional sciences should take place there and be promoted.
Other qualities of the milk and meat processing industry, such as the good location and infrastructure access to the farmers, can also be used to process other fresh food or to find new products and opportunities to directly sell their products to consumers together with the farmers.
An independent political consulting institution for retailers should provide comprehensive information about climate friendly alternatives and inform grocers about the environmental impact of food. The aim of this consulting institution is to encourage grocers to change the food assortment towards a more sustainable diet. It is crucial that also retailers assume their responsibility against climate change. With this measure the state could be an assistance to promote corporate responsibility of grocers and consumers against climate change.
An example of a marketing idea could be that only sustainable products give points on customer cards and at the end of the year the customers can see how much GHG they saved compared to an average consumer.
Massnahme 6.10 : Keine Subventionen für Werbung für Lebensmittel tierischen Ursprungs
Die öffentliche Finanzierung der Verkaufsförderung von Lebensmitteln tierischen Ursprungs muss sofort eingestellt werden. Stattdessen sollte mit diesem Budget die nationale Ernährungsstrategie verbessert werden.
Swiss government supports sale promotion for ASF with around CHF 40 mio (FOAG 2019). This public financing of sales promotion needs to stop immediately and is easy to stop. Instead, this budget should be invested in the elaboration and improvement process of the national nutrition strategy (Policy 6.6). These publicities about meat and dairy products shape consumer's perception, in a wrong way as we consume three times as much meat as is recommended and ASF products have a big responsibility on the climate crisis we are in. These spending increase the ASF consumption and work against brought efforts to achieve the opposite.
The “Milk Day” in public schools should be replaced by a day about sustainable diet, especially substitutes for milk products and how they are produced.
Massnahme 6.11 : Kennzeichnung von Lebensmitteln aufgrund ihrer Klimaverträglichkeit
Wir brauchen eine genaue und transparente Bewertung und Label, welche die Auswirkungen von Lebensmitteln auf das Klima kennzeichnen. Eine solche Kennzeichnung sollte für alle Lebensmittel eingeführt werden und könnte zudem als Grundlage für eine neue Bepreisung genutzt werden.
Food prices were assessed to be a major driver for consumer’s buying decision in Switzerland (Stolz et al. 2017). These prices however mostly only include the direct costs of production but do not account for the impacts on quantity and quality of natural capital (see
For the implementation of an effective and socially compatible labelling and pricing for food products there is a need for accurate and transparent assessment of the climate impact on food and mechanisms ensuring the ability for lower income households to afford a diverse and high-quality diet.
Regarding the assessment of climate impacts of food products there has already been a lot of research being done and there are extensive databases on the environmental impacts of several food products and categories (Poore and Nemecek 2018). Such a labelling should in a first step be implemented for all food products and could further serve as a basis for a pricing policy.
Tax revenues can be earmarked for developing clean technologies. They could also be earmarked to compensate for incurred damages from climate change, or they could just be fused with the general tax revenue of the government. One approach would also be to use them in so-called “refunded emission payments”. In those, only a small part of the tax revenue would be used for administration of the instrument, while the largest part for it would be redistributed to the payers, depending on their relative emission performance: Those that are better than the average get money back, those that are worse pay. Such a scheme has slightly lower emission reduction incentives (as part of the money flows back), but it can be more acceptable among the targeted industries or consumers.
A pricing of food products according to their actual environmental impact would influence the buying decisions of consumers, with resource-intensive and environmentally harmful products being less demanded and likely less wasted once bought.
Pricing policies (True Cost Accounting) can be crucial for the transition towards sustainable food systems. The leading audit and advisory firm KPMG estimated the environmental costs of food production to reach 200 bn USD in 2012, making the food industry the most environmentally detrimental industry. In comparison, the global oil and gas industry was accountable for 150 billion USD of environmental costs according to the consultancy (Averchenkova et al. 2012). In 2014, the FAO estimated that environmental and social costs of global food waste – which amounts to roughly one third of global food production – cost society at least 700 and 900 billion USD, respectively (Scialabba et al. 2014). Although the calculation of these numbers show an increasing interest in the consideration of the food system as an entity, most existing numbers address only selected food system externalities. True Cost Accounting aims to include all these externalities and is promoted as a key methodology to inform the development of sustainable food system policies (Aspenson 2020). True Cost Accounting can be utilized to include considerations of other important externalities into food and agriculture policies. Only a holistic consideration of the food system and its impacts will lead to a truly sustainable food system.
There is a need for mechanisms ensuring the ability for lower income households to afford a diverse and high-quality diet which is discussed in the cross-sectoral chapter on GHG pricing.
Questions and Uncertainties
Are discussed in detail in the policy 2 on GHG pricing in the cross sectorial chapter.
Massnahme 6.12 : Steuern auf Lebensmittel tierischen Ursprungs
Wir schlagen höhere Steuersätze für Lebensmittel tierischer Herkunft vor, um die wahren Kosten für die Umwelt und die Gesellschaft widerzuspiegeln. Lebensmittel tierischen Ursprungs sollten von der reduzierten Mehrwertsteuer ausgenommen werden. Mögliche weitere Massnahmen sind: höhere Steuern, die jedes Jahr steigen, wenn ein bestimmtes THG-Ziel nicht erreicht wird. Oder, Lebensmitteln werden hinsichtlich ihrer durchschnittlichen Emissionen besteuert und Fleischzertifikate werden eingeführt.
We suggest higher tax rates on ASF to reflect the true cost on the environment and on the society.
As a first step for a tax system towards a sustainable diet we suggest a small change in the national tax system. ASF should be excluded from the reduced value-added tax (VAT). In Switzerland all food items are taxed at a reduced rate of 2.5%. The normal VAT rate for most other products is 7.7% (Die Schweizer Behörden online 2020). ASF should not be included in this reduced VAT, as their production causes environmental pollution, which triggers climate change (Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU / FOEN) 2019). Therefore, we suggest that products containing ASF are included in the normal VAT rate. All products containing more than 5% ASF should be taxed with a VAT rate of 7.7% irrespectively if they are produced in Switzerland or imported.
This first step is rather easy to implement and the administrative costs are low, as there exists already different VAT rates (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft 2004). The change should enter into force by the 1st 2022. The legal basis can be found in Art. 130 of the federal constitution, whereas the federation can change value added tax rates from a reduced to a normal tax rate on any objects.
With this political measure we want to achieve two effects: On one side, a higher governmental revenue through the increased tax rate. On the other hand, should the slightly higher prices for ASF products show the consumers that these products have higher environmental costs than other food items.
The policy should be a first step towards a sustainable diet:
- The price increase of 5.2% for ASF is not enough to change the consumers purchase behavior. Therefore, we suggest a dynamic tax rate approach: The tax will be higher each year if a specific GHG aim is not reached.
- For the future we suggest taxing food concerning its average emission, which would be more accurate, but also would mean an additional administrative effort. A feasibility analysis on specific GHG emission tax for different food categories should be conducted until January, the 1st 2023.
- Another approach or a complementary measure would be to introduce certificates on meat. The federation auctioned off a few certificates, which empower to slaughter animals or import meat. This would allow direct control of the availability and therefore the consumption of meat can be easily reduced. The number of certificates available needs to be strictly linked to the emission goal of net zero by 2030.
This measure will generate money that can be used for implementing other measures.
Broeks et al. (2020) were the first to create a model study including and monetizing social costs and benefits of a 15% or 30% meat tax or a 10% fruit and vegetables subsidy in the Netherlands. The outcome shows that all three interventions could lead to a net benefit to society over a 30-year time frame.
To our knowledge no country has yet implemented taxes on ASF. Neither did anyone research about the impact of such a tax in the Swiss context. Therefore, we cannot say if a higher VAT rate of 7.7% would trigger the consumers to buy less ASF or if we can reduce GHG emissions at all with this policy. However, it is very clear that the meat consumption must be reduced as emissions from animal husbandry must be reduced.
An interesting side effect is that the overconsumption of meat is shown to be the cause of several illnesses (Richi et al. 2015). If we can reduce this overconsumption, we can also reduce health costs.
Farmers: Animals, especially cows are part of the cultural heritage of Switzerland. They are the pride of most farmers. Tax revenue shall be used to financially support farmers wishing for a transition from ASF to more sustainable crops using the current administration for agricultural subsidies.
As the sales of ASF might decrease, farmers and retailers will have less revenue. Mechanisms which are described in the other policies should help farmers and retailers to get other income sources.
Retailers: Retailing is dominated by Coop, Migros and Fenaco. We cannot imagine that these three companies would be hardly affected by our policy, as these retailers sell a lot of other products, where they can get revenue from. However, retailers, which only depend on selling ASF, will be affected. For them a supported reorganization is needed.
Consumers: Swiss people spend on average around 6% of their monthly budget on food (FSO 2017a). A tax of this kind will of course bring a strong financial pressure not to buy meat. However, we believe this is acceptable since meat is not the only type of food available. In fact, it will probably be cheaper to cook with less meat and should not be a problem if consumers are educated on how to cook with alternatives.
Authors of studies modeling such taxes affirm that the use of tax revenues is critical for acceptability considering its economic effects (Caillavet, Fadhuile, and Nichele 2019) hence the revenue shall be directed to satisfy as many stakeholders as possible.
Food waste indicates a substantial inefficiency in our food system, from an ecological, ethical as well as an economic perspective. Ecologically, food waste stands for a waste of those natural resources which build the foundation of our food system. Reducing food waste thereby means avoiding the waste and depletion of soil and water resources, the waste of energy as well as agricultural inputs including pesticides and fertilizers. For Switzerland, zero food waste would indicate avoidance of 24% of the total GHG emissions from the entire food system (C. Beretta & S. Hellweg, 2019). From an economical point of view, only considering avoidable food waste in households, the costs of food waste in Switzerland amount to about CHF 600 per person per year, summing up to the potential of saving CHF 5 bn per year. Finally, considering the millions of people facing hunger worldwide, reducing food waste represents an ethical necessity.
However, as previously introduced, food waste is a complex problem concerning all stages of the food chain, including producers, distributors and consumers. Accordingly, to reduce food waste, a coherent framework with measures concerning all stages of the food chain is needed. Thereby, these measures primarily should seek to prevent food waste by limiting the generation of surplus food at each stage of the food supply chain (i.e. production, processing, distribution and consumption), and secondly, where food waste still arises, they should secure the most efficient use of the surplus food.
Massnahme 6.13 : Aufklärung über Food Waste und Sensibilisierung
Die Produktion von Nahrungsmitteln, ihre Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt, sowie die Bedeutung von Saisonalität und Lokalität müssen in der Schweiz auf allen Ebenen Teil des Lehrplans sein.
Households are responsible for about one third of the total food waste in Switzerland (in terms of fresh matter). The extent of food waste heavily depends upon the societal value we give food. Food waste at the household level might be driven by a devaluation of food, meaning that we no longer value food as something essential for life, a lack of knowledge of how food is produced (e.g., resources and energy used, farmer’s commitment) as well as a loss of food cultures in the course of globalization. These things lead to a loss of social and emotional linkages to food.
We consider a lack of knowledge and awareness to be a major driver for this development and thus consider the targeting of food related topics in education as one of the most important measures to combat food waste. The production of food, its impacts on the environment as well as the meaning of seasonality and locality needs to be part of the educational schedule in the Swiss education system at all levels. We thereby consider practical experience in the form of field work on farms, excursions to farmers or any stakeholder in the food chain. Foremost there should also be practical skills training in conserving and storing food, in assessing what is still edible and what is not as well as healthy, sustainable and waste-free cooking classes.
A further possibility to increase the experienced value of food for consumers, is to increase their contact with producers. This should lead to less food waste and possibilities for direct selling from farms but also from the processing sector as they are already increasing today and should be supported further as described in Policy 6.9., 6.20 and 6.21. One possibility to concretely reduce food waste with that is to sell and buy non-tradable food in farm shops.
Massnahme 6.14 : Neue Kennzeichnung von Verfallsdaten
Die Lebensmitteletiketten "Verkaufen bis..." und "Mindestens haltbar bis..." müssen den Verbraucher*innen verständlicher vermittelt oder ganz weggelassen werden
Largest environmental impact of food waste can be attributed to the last stages of the food chain due to the resources needed for transporting, processing and storing of the respective goods (Beretta and Hellweg 2019). Food waste at the respective stages (especially at the retail, catering and household stage) might be considerably supported by misinterpretations and confusion on the food labelling concepts ‘sell until’, ‘best before date’ and ‘expiration’. Expiration dates are of great importance regarding food safety and human health as they indicate the potential of contamination by microorganisms producing harmful toxins. However, these are only mandatory for products which need continuous cooling throughout the food chain and that can represent a health risk even if their smell and taste are normal. The ‘best before date’ indicates the date until a specific food product maintains ‘original’ quality regarding for example smell, consistency or color. This however does not mean that the respective product cannot be consumed thereafter and should not be interpreted as an expiration date. Finally, some products are currently still labelled with a ‘sell until’ label which does not indicate any quality or health aspect at all (FSVO 2014). To avoid misinterpretations with expiration dates, the food labels ‘sell until’ and ‘best before’ need to be communicated clearer to the consumer or even better be omitted completely.
Massnahme 6.15 : Anpassung der Industrienormen
Eine Reduzierung der Lebensmittelabfälle aus der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion kann mittels einer Anpassung der Industrienormen erreicht werden. Weniger Produkte sollen aufgrund von Grösse, Form, Farbe oder anderen Standards, die die Lebensmittelqualität nicht beeinflussen, abgelehnt werden.
From the total Swiss agricultural food production for human consumption about 225’000 tons of fresh matter is not used as food and ends up as food waste. From these 225’000 tons about 90% is considered potentially avoidable. Main sources for food waste at this production stage are the failure to comply with industry norms and unsuitable storage (Baier et al. 2017). Assuming an average price of CHF 3 per kg of fresh matter, this corresponds to a value of CHF 600 mio per year.
A reduction of food waste from the agricultural production can be achieved by adjusting the industry norms so that less of the products are rejected due to size, form, color or other appearance quality standards not influencing food quality. There are several ways how an adjustment of industry norms could be carried out. One way would be to carry out a mandatory consumer survey to set norms adjusted to consumer’s needs. Another possibility would be to omit industry norms completely so that food processing companies must accept all products from a specific farmer. It then is in the competence of the companies to decide on which agricultural resources they can use for further processing and which not. This would additionally increase product innovation to enable the use of the entire quality spectrum of the products delivered by the farmers. In any case, fair sectoral agreements between farmers, industry and retailers are needed.
Massnahme 6.16 : Förderung von Projekten zur Reduktion von Lebensmittelabfällen
Bestehende Projekte und die Entwicklung neuer Projekte zur Reduzierung von Food Waste sollten auf allen Stufen des Ernährungssystems gefördert werden.
If food waste cannot be prevented by the depicted measures, still the most efficient use of the respective goods should be enabled. In several cities of Switzerland there is an increase in communities which try to establish concepts to ensure this. These ‘food sharing’ communities, for instance, make overproduced food or leftovers freely available in public fridges. However, considering the total mass of food waste across all stages of the food chain, these initiatives reduce food waste only to a very limited extent. Thus, the promotion and up-scaling of such activities at all stages of the food chain have a large potential to decrease food waste in Switzerland. Governmental actions in this context could include the adjustment of law and regulations to enable such activities on a legal basis, the creation of a fund specifically supporting start-ups which develop concepts and technologies to use food resources which were discarded at the industry, retail or gastronomy stages, the provision of consulting for such start-ups, the promotion of food sharing activities at the community level or the provision of energy-efficient infrastructure for such.
Massnahme 6.17 : Berufsausbildung für Landwirt*innen anpassen
Die Ausbildung sollte ein Verständnis für die Klimakrise, ihre Folgen und Auswirkungen auf die Landwirtschaft beinhalten. Ebenfalls müssen die Vorteile eines nachhaltigen und produktiven Ernährungssystems weitergegeben werden. Theoretische und praktische Übungen zum Kennenlernen von Aspekten der Klimakrise und nachhaltiger Lösungen zusammen mit anderen Akteur*innen des Ernährungssystems sollten integraler Bestandteil der Berufsausbildung sein
Aspiring farmers should be prepared for the challenges they face concerning food production in the 21st century and the current climate crisis, and be equipped with the necessary skills. Therefore, today's vocational education for farmers needs to be updated.
The education should contain an understanding of the climate crisis, its consequences and impacts on agriculture and the challenge of a sustainable and productive food system. Only methods and techniques that are sustainable and compatible with the following measures of the chapter should be learned. Accordingly, livestock farming should be less centrally located, and more focus should be placed on resource-conserving and productive food cultivation. Agro-ecological methods should be introduced and learnt, as well as skills in understanding the local impacts of the climate crisis and adaptation possibilities.
Within their education the future farmers should also have the possibility to get in touch with other people working in the food sector as well as students in the field. (See Policies
Education should also be made more attractive and accessible for more people.
This policy does not require additional funding as the vocational education for farmers could be financed in the same way it is financed today.
The impact of this measure is hard to quantify. Its aim is to create the necessary foundations in the food sector to help create the possibilities for the necessary changes. It should educate people and enable them to work actively on solutions. In this sense it should also serve to make the other proposed measures realizable and to improve and guarantee their impact.
Massnahme 6.18 : Verbesserung der Rechte und Arbeitsbedingungen von Landwirt*innen
Gute Gehälter und Arbeitsbedingungen müssen sichergestellt werden. Das bäuerliche Bodenrecht muss geschützt werden. Die Schweizer Regierung sollte daher das Problem der hohen Verschuldung angehen. Bäuerinnen brauchen eine Versicherung, damit sie im Falle einer Scheidung eine Garantie für Rente haben. Um ein menschenwürdiges Arbeitsumfeld für Arbeiter*innen im Agrarsektor (auch Gastarbeiter*innen) zu schaffen, müssen die Arbeitsplätze in der Landwirtschaft dem schweizerischen Arbeitsrecht unterstellt werden. Zudem soll jungen Landwirt*innen der Zugang zu landwirtschaftlichen Flächen erleichtert werden.
To achieve the needed transition and reorientation in the agricultural sector, a lot is expected from the farmers. (See Current Situation.)
To make this possible, it is important that farmers can inform themselves, get involved and have an amount of operational scope in their work. This requires sufficient time and good working conditions, which should be ensured with the following three measures:
- A core part of a strategy to render Switzerland's agricultural sector socially and environmentally more sustainable must protect the peasant land law (Bäuerliches Bodenrecht/ droit foncier rural/ diritto fondiario rurale). This law prevents the fragmentation of agricultural land, hedges against massive land price increases by prohibiting speculation on agricultural land and regulates the transfer of agricultural land. A relaxation of it could open the doors for climate-damaging, profit driven large-scale agriculture. Small-scaled agricultural production must remain possible in Switzerland as it is also the chance for many people to engage in this sector and not to further lower the number of people working in this sector. It should also protect the people’s right to define their agricultural and food policy and to prioritize local agricultural production in order to feed the people as well as to give access of peasants and landless people to land, water, seeds, and capital which are core principles of food sovereignty.
- A farm provides a family with work, livelihood, housing and free time and is therefore the central element in the life of a farming family. Therefore, there is often a strong interdependence between business and private life. Marriage and divorce are closely linked to material claims and business obligations. Today, wives of farmers have no guaranteed right to have the work done on the farm credited for payments and pensions and in the event of divorce they are much more likely to waive claims or compensation. To reduce legal dependency on other people, this must be corrected, and insurance and compensation must be guaranteed for both married partners in future. In addition, further projects are to be intensified and promoted to make the sector more attractive and accessible for women, not only as wives.
- To create a decent working environment for agricultural workers (also migrant workers), jobs in agriculture must be amenable to the Swiss labor law. This includes the conclusion of a collective bargaining agreement that defines maximum weekly working hours for agricultural workers and regulates their salary, accommodation and residence status. The government must establish legal contact points for both domestic and foreign agricultural workers and start proactively informing seasonal workers about their rights as well as monitoring the working conditions of Swiss farms on a regular basis. Since the income for many is already scarce in agriculture and many farms are heavily indebted, it is crucial that this must be accompanied by projects for more subsidized auxiliary workers (Policy 6.19) and good income opportunities to produce food. (Policy 6.9 and 6.28)
Massnahme 6.19 : Mehr Arbeitsplätze im Agrarsektor
Projekte, die mehr Arbeitnehmende in den Agrarsektor bringen, sollen gefördert werden. Der Zugang zu landwirtschaftlichem Land für junge, ausgebildete Menschen sollte erleichtert werden. Green-Job-Programme und Zivildienststellen sollten ebenso gefördert werden wie neue Formen der Beteiligung an Landwirtschaft, um die Arbeitsbelastung zu verteilen.
What is also needed to achieve the necessary transition and reorientation in the agricultural sector as described in the current status, is enough committed people working in agriculture. The sometimes-hard work and the many weekly working hours will be spread over more people as well as being accessible to more people. More people being engaged in the production of food could also have an impact on consumption patterns in society.
To this end, not only vocational education for farmers should be made accessible to more people but also the following three points should be implemented.
- Swiss agricultural policy must facilitate the access to agricultural land for young educated farmers, who are often struggling to find that nowadays.
- The opportunity to cultivate agricultural land in Switzerland should not be reserved foremost for members of peasant families. Rather, lateral entrants with agricultural education from non-peasant families must be granted simplified legal access to farmland state support.
- Possibly created green job programs as well as other projects to support and pay auxiliary workers should be used to help and work on farms or other food-producing facilities. Existing projects like ZIVI/CIVI therefore could be extended and not only include male persons.
Overview on Livestock Production in Switzerland
The extent of livestock husbandry can be understood to be mainly determined by two constraints: (A) Sufficient provision of nutrients for a healthy and balanced diet of a population and (B) Environmental impacts that must not surpass environmental limits of local and global ecosystems. Land use suitability (e.g. for cropland, grassland, forestland) can be seen as an additional framework condition. Three quarters of the agricultural land in Switzerland is grassland that cannot or should not be ploughed. Production of food on this grassland is only possible with ruminants. However, alternative uses of grass (e.g. for fiber, insulation, energy production) and grasslands (e.g. reforestation, promotion of biodiversity) should be considered as well.
For many industrialized countries including Switzerland consumption of animal-based food, particularly meat is above the recommendations of public health institutions (FSVO 2017). At the same time, overly large livestock populations lead to negative impacts beyond the environmental limits, particularly in respect to global climate change (Searchinger et al. 2019; Springmann et al. 2018; Willett et al. 2019). Buckwell and Nadeu (2018) conclude that in order to reach the 2050 climate goals (reduction of GHG-emissions by 80%) the EU28 must reduce its direct livestock emissions by 74%. This can hardly be realized by technical measures (see
Further industrial meat production creates an ideal environment for the spread, development and increased virulence of viruses.
Livestock usually converts only a small part of the nutrients and energy in the feed to human edible food (Shepon et al. 2016; McDonald et al. 2011). As far as possible, use of animal feed should thus be limited to feedstuff not edible for humans (M. Meier, Moakes, and Spörr 2018; Mottet et al. 2017; Schader et al. 2015). This namely includes grass grown on permanent [natural] grassland (i.e. land not suitable for crop production) and by-products from the food industry that cannot be transformed to human edible food. These animal feeds should be used efficiently, getting the right nutrient to the right animal at the right time (Andeweg and Reisinger 2015).
Framework for Future Livestock Production in Switzerland
As an overarching goal for agricultural production in Switzerland, it is necessary to determine the extent of livestock populations that combine sustainable production and healthy diet. Several studies have been conducted in this direction (H. Kim et al. 2019; Stolze 2019; Zimmermann, Nemecek, and Waldvogel 2017). As a point of reference, we suggest here a diet and agricultural production according to the LMP/Kal scenario in Zimmermann et al. (2017) (Table 6-2). This would lead to a reduction of total GHG emission from food consumption in Switzerland by 56%. The reduction potential might even be higher if food waste were reduced as far as possible (see also chapter on food waste). GHG emissions from agricultural production within Switzerland decrease to a lesser degree. Based on the model of the Swiss national GHG inventory, Bretscher et al. (2018) calculated a respective reduction potential of approximately 30%.
Under the LMP/Kal scenario in Zimmermann et al. (2017) the total number of livestock units falls by 44%. Particularly meat production from cattle, swine and poultry is reduced. Production and consumption of milk and eggs is maintained or even increased in order to guarantee sufficient provision of animal proteins and micronutrients. This scenario is in accordance with other studies such as e.g. Buckwell and Nadeu (2018) who state that: “a conservative estimate is that about half of the current ruminant livestock in the EU could be justified in their role of making use of the available permanent pastures, including rough grazing”. Considering ecosystem boundaries, Meier and Moakes (2018) propose a similar reduction of the cattle population in Switzerland as Zimmermann et al. (2017) (-37%, feed no food scenario). The population of swine would fall by 59% and the population of poultry by 88%.
‑ Livestock populations according to the reference and LMP/Kal scenario of Zimmermann et al. (2017).
Feed rations of the individual livestock categories changes considerably under a scenario for a sustainable and healthy diet such as LMP/Kal. Ruminants are mainly fed based on roughage from permanent grassland and leys in arable crop rotations. Since the total agricultural area is maintained constant, permanent grassland can be used more extensively while still producing sufficient feedstuff. The amount of silage maize that is currently mainly used in cattle husbandry is reduced massively (-90% of the respective cropping area). Furthermore, the results from Zimmermann et al. (2017) suggest that feed imports could be reduced almost to zero due to the much-reduced demand for feed concentrates. Additionally, in Switzerland more cropland will become available for crop production directly for human consumption (e.g. grains, vegetables, root crops, oilseeds).
The degree of food sovereignty in Switzerland would increase considerably with the shift to a more healthy and sustainable diet. Zimmermann et al. (2017) estimate that both gross- and net- (subtracting production based on imported feed) self-sufficiency in terms of food calories could augment to over 80% compared to <60% respectively 50% today.
Consequences for Food System Policies
Based on the study of Zimmermann et al. (2017) we suggest limiting livestock populations in Switzerland to the numbers of the LMP/Kal scenario as provided in Table 1. The number of livestock units should be fixed for ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats) and monogastric animals (swine, poultry) with some flexibility within these groups. Animal feed should be restricted as far as possible to feedstuff not edible for humans and stocking densities should be adapted to local feed availability. To achieve this, we suggest the following policy measures:
Massnahme 6.20 : Import von tierischen Produkten und Produktivität
Der Import von tierischen Produkten wird nur zugelassen, wenn sie unter den gleichen Richtlinien wie in der Schweiz produziert wurden (“Feed no Food”, Einhaltung der maximalen lokalen Viehdichte). "Feed no food"-Konzepte und die maximale lokale Viehdichte sollen auch auf internationaler Ebene gefördert werden. Entsprechende internationale Handelsregeln müssen unterstützt werden
To ensure that the following measures concerning livestock production in Switzerland lead to a reduction of GHG emissions in total and are not compensated by more emissions, land use and bad agricultural practices in other countries through more imports, it is essential to have a productive domestic agriculture sector. The Swiss population needs to be supplied to the highest possible degree from domestically produced food. The degree of self-sufficiency should at least stay the same if not increase with all the suggested policies. This should be a key target in any agriculture politics and has a further advantage of leading to less transport emissions. We want to ensure this through the “feed no food” principle, which allows more calories and nutrition being produced per hectare and with further support of different practices and alternatives described in policy 6.9, 6.26 and
To reach that target, implementing the following two import regulations are important:
- Import of animal sourced food products is only allowed when it is produced under the same framework conditions as in Switzerland (“feed no food” principle and observance of maximum local stocking densities). The concepts of the “feed no food” principle and the maximum stocking densities should be promoted by Switzerland on an international level. It will be consistently represented in trade relations and international cooperation and research projects. The development of respective international trade regulations should be pursued (see policy 6.1).
- Furthermore, the following policies, foremost the once to reduce the proportion of animal sourced food production, need to come together with a shift in diets in Switzerland and should not lead to more ASF being imported (even if it is produced under the same sustainability framework as in Switzerland, it will increase the demand for meat and lead others to the consumption of more harmful produced ASF or take away the land and possibility for others to eat ASF). The above policies concerning Swiss food consumption should help to make that shift possible. But to guarantee it, there is the need for a cap for imported ASF at the level it is today, decreasing until 2030 to a maximum of 10% of the amount of what is produced in Switzerland.
These two measures and the aspect of a productive agriculture allow the change in Swiss agriculture to have a real impact on the fight against climate crisis. By changing both, the way we produce food, and the way and amount we consume, we will enable both parts to have great impacts and to be an evident part towards a sustainable food system having a global relevance: First as a good example to show that it is possible and second to already bring up solutions for the global food system that can be used further or adapted by others.
Massnahme 6.21 : Keine Subventionen für die Futtermittelproduktion auf Ackerland
Keine Subventionen oder andere Unterstützung für die Futtermittelproduktion auf Ackerland, mit Ausnahme von Heu in der landwirtschaftlichen Felderwirtschaft
All subsidies or any other support for feed production on arable land except for leys in arable crop rotations should be reduced continuously and stopped by 2030. Arable lands could be defined as the crop rotation areas as designated in ARE (2006). Alternatively, the elaboration of a respective policy system could consider the area- and food-competition as proposed by Zumwald et al. (2019). The subsidies should instead be shifted towards sustainable practices and techniques as suggested in the policies 6.27 and 6.28: Alternative proteins/incomes.
The impact and further details can be found in the overview and framework for future livestock production in Switzerland. Important questions such as financing or social or cultural compatibility are answered by the accompanying measures, both previous and following.
Massnahme 6.22 : Keine Importe von Tierfutter
Abgaben auf importierte Futtermittel bis 2030 schrittweise erhöhen und importierte Futtermittel ab 2030 ganz verbieten.
An increasing tax on imported feedstuff should lead to its reduction to zero by 2030, year where it should be banned. Incomes generated by the taxes should be used to create other income possibilities for farmers (Policy 6.28).
The impact and further details can be found in the overview and framework for future livestock production in Switzerland. Important questions such as financing or social or cultural compatibility are answered by the accompanying measures, both previous and following.
Massnahme 6.23 : Begrenzung der Viehdichte für Wiederkäuer
Begrenzung der Viehdichte für Wiederkäuer auf Dauerweiden auf durchschnittlich eine Grossvieheinheit pro Hektar. Die maximale Viehdichte kann regional angepasst werden, um Unterschiede im lokalen Produktionspotenzial zu berücksichtigen
The stocking densities for ruminants on permanent grassland should be limited to one livestock unit per hectare on average. The maximum stocking density may be adjusted regionally to take into account the differences in local production potentials.
The impact and further details can be found in the overview and framework for future livestock production in Switzerland. Important questions such as financing or social or cultural compatibility are answered by the accompanying measures, both previous and following.
Massnahme 6.24 : Population von Nicht-Wiederkäuern limitieren
Die Anzahl der Nicht-Wiederkäuer soll limitiert werden. Die genaue Zahl ergibt sich aus der aktuellsten Forschung oder orientiert sich an der Anzahl Tiere, die mit Futtermitteln aus Nebenprodukten der regionalen Lebensmittelindustrie (für den Menschen nicht essbar) ernährt werden können. Die tiefere dieser beiden Zahlen gilt
The populations of non-ruminant animals should also be limited to values provided in Table 6-2 or to numbers that can be supported with feedstuff from by-products of the regional food industry that are not edible by humans, if this is lower.
Massnahme 6.25 : Maximale Viehdichte für neue Infrastruktur beachten
Die (regionale) maximale Viehdichte soll bei Baugenehmigungen von neuer oder der Renovierung alter Infrastruktur (z.B. Ställe) berücksichtigt werden. Dies gilt auch für die Kreditvergabe oder die Unterstützung anderer langfristiger Investitionen.
For the approval of new construction or renovation of old infrastructure (e.g. stables) and for the guarantee of credits or any other long-term support investments the regional maximum stocking densities need to be considered.
Massnahme 6.26 : Förderung von Forschung und Entwicklung
Forschung und Entwicklung fördern, um die graslandbasierte Tierproduktion zu optimieren und Nebenprodukte der Lebensmittelindustrie in Tierfutter umzuwandeln. Präzisionsfütterung soll gefördert werden.
In order to optimize grassland-based animal production and convert food industry by-products to animal feed, research and development should be promoted - for instance in precision feeding as proposed by Andeweg and Reisinger (2015).
Further GHG reduction potentials may be achieved with technical measures. This includes in particular an increased longevity for cattle animals (Grandl et al. 2018, Meier et al. 2017), nitrogen optimized feeding strategies (Bracher et al. 2011, Kupper et al. 2018), and low emission stable- and manure management systems (see policy 6.33.) (Daniel Bretscher et al. 2018). So far, there is no scientific consensus whether pasture or stall-feeding systems are more beneficial in terms of GHG-emissions (Zollitsch, Hörtenhuber, and Lindenthal 2010; Zumwald et al. 2019). For animal-welfare reasons we suggest letting animals graze if possible. In general, it is expected that the technical measures for the reduction of GHG emissions in practice are of limited potential and difficult to implement. Nonetheless, they should be promoted as far as possible. This could include e.g. bans for unsustainable practices, regulations and/or capacity building programs. Financial incentives should be used with reluctance and only granted to cover additional costs as they shall not reinforce structures of livestock activities beyond the ecological system boundaries.
Massnahme 6.27 : Alternativen zu tierischen Proteinen fördern
Alternativen zu tierischen Proteinen, d.h. pflanzliche Proteinquellen, wie z.B. Hülsenfrüchte, sollten gezielt gefördert und unterstützt werden. Ebenso soll die Forschung zur Züchtung und dem Anbau in der Schweiz in angemessenem Umfang gefördert werden
Alternatives to animal proteins i.e. plant-based protein sources like leguminous crops should be specifically promoted and supported as well as the research on breeding and cultivation of those alternatives in appropriate scale in Switzerland.
Massnahme 6.28 : Alternative Einkommensquellen fördern
|Landwirt*innen, die heute von der Viehzucht abhängig sind, sollen Unterstützung erhalten, wenn sie alternative Einkommensquellen erschliessen wollen (z.B. Unterstützung beim Übergang zum Ackerbau oder zur Energieproduktion).|
Farmers depending on livestock production today should be supported by promoting alternative income possibilities as support for transition to crop productions, additional energy production or concerning policy 6.9 possibilities for direct selling of their products in the farm or in association with the processing sector. Accordingly, framework conditions need to be designed in a way that allows for alternative economic activities. Difficulties and challenges in arable crop production such as seasonally uneven distribution of workload and income and risks for crop failure due to extreme events must be addressed in order to strengthen the attractiveness and feasibility of this activity.
Minimize GHG intensive practices
Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural soils are the second largest GHG emission source in the agricultural sector (1.58 Mt CO2 eq.; see Current Situation). They are mostly a result of nitrogen transformation processes in animal manure and agricultural soils. The production and use of nitrogen containing fertilizers (mineral fertilizer and animal manure) are the cause of most N2O emissions. Among the additional nitrogen sources are decaying crop residues, nitrogen mineralization in soils and inputs from atmospheric deposition of nitrogen species leading to N2O emissions. Particularly high nitrogen supplies beyond requirements of crops lead to hot spots of N2O emissions.
However, any overabundance of nitrogen, also when coming from high additions of compost, will lead to N2O emissions. In addition to on-farm greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizers, emissions of around 0.81 Mt CO2 eq. are incurred during the production of agricultural inputs abroad, mineral fertilizers and animal feed. The use of organic soils for arable farming or grazing is another major source of GHG emissions (mainly CO2) in Swiss agriculture. Additionally, CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in agricultural machinery and buildings amount to 0.63 Mt CO2 eq. and therefore contribute 10% of the GHG emissions from agricultural production in Switzerland. To reduce all these emissions from agricultural production, several measures are proposed below.
Massnahme 6.29 : Förderung der Low-Input-Landwirtschaft
Im Rahmen der Direktzahlungen sollen für landwirtschaftliche Praktiken mit geringem Input entsprechende Beiträge gesprochen werden. Kriterien sind, dass die geförderten Praktiken die agroökologischen Prinzipien einbeziehen und die THG-Emissionen im Vergleich zu den derzeit etablierten Systemen senken.
For the Swiss agricultural production system and for the Swiss farmers, to sustain the shift towards a less input-intensive production system the production portfolio must be adapted in a way that allows sustainable low-input agriculture. To this end and in accordance with article 104 of the Swiss constitution, the use of cultures and varieties as well as animal species and breeds that are adapted to climatic, soil and topographical conditions should be supported. Accordingly, the need for external inputs should be lower, as less fertilizers and agrochemicals are necessary in order to maintain agricultural production against fundamental ecological constraints. This policy suggests production system contributions within the direct payment framework for previously specified low-input agricultural practices incorporating agroecological principles and lowering the GHG emissions in comparison to currently established systems.
The described direct policy could be financed by the redistribution of the direct payment budget, reducing the payments for animal husbandry and redirecting these payments towards locally adapted low-input agricultural practices.
This policy is mainly necessary to sustain the policies aiming at reducing GHG emitting inputs in the agricultural system. The direct emission reduction effect is hard to calculate.
Due to its character as a supporting measure for the policies mentioned below, this measure should increase the acceptance of the policies aiming at reducing harmful inputs in agricultural systems.
Massnahme 6.30 : Steuer auf Stickstoffeinsatz, der die Nachfrage der Pflanze übersteigt & Obergrenze für die Anwendung synthetischer Düngemittel
Der Stickstoffeinsatz sollte sehr genau überwacht werden. Einsätze, die über die Pflanzenversorgung hinausgehen, müssen besteuert werden. Dazu sollte den Landwirt*innen ein Instrument zur Verfügung gestellt werden, dass den benötigten Düngereinsatz berechnet. Dieses soll z.B. den Nährstoffbedarf der Pflanzen, die Verfügbarkeit von Stickstoff im Boden, die Art des verwendeten Düngers und die Anwendungsart berücksichtigen. Als ergänzende Massnahme kann eine Lenkungsabgabe auf synthetische Dünger erhoben werden.
Weiter schlagen wird eine Obergrenze für die Ausbringung von synthetischem Dünger vor. Diese Obergrenze wird schrittweise gesenkt. Die Bäuer*innen sollen die Möglichkeit erhalten, sich an die neue Situation anzupassen.
An overabundance of freely available nitrogen in the soil can lead to high N2O emissions. The temporal and spatial nitrogen supply should match the plant’s demand as close as possible. In Switzerland Bosshard et al. (2012) report that there is a substantial potential for improving nitrogen use efficiency in Switzerland. Since amounts of nitrogen emissions not only depend on the source but mainly on the amount of nitrogen applied (Necpalova et al. 2018), nitrogen addition should be monitored very closely and inputs that are beyond the plant supply should be taxed. For this, a user-friendly tool should be made available to farmers that accounts for e.g. the nutrient demand of plants, the availability of nitrogen in the soil, the type of fertilizer used and the application technique. As a complementary measure an incentive tax on synthetic fertilizers can be raised. The revenues of this incentive tax can then be redistributed to the farmers directly or via investments in research and development of more efficient nutrient managing techniques.
To complement the tax-based measures aiming at a reduction of N2O emissions a stronger incentive for farmers to use their crop rotation and organic fertilizers as nutrient sources can be applied. To this end we suggest a cap for synthetic fertilizer application (SFA) based on local conditions as part of a compulsory fertilization balance for all farmers. This cap will be lowered in a stepwise manner guaranteeing both the aimed reduction and the possibility for farmers to adapt to the new situation. This policy is independent of the direct payment regulation and can also be applied if incentives based on taxes do not lead to any change in the N2O emissions.
An increase in nitrogen use efficiency of manure management could lead to a reduction of 0.261 Mt CO2 eq. per year (Daniel Bretscher et al. 2018). Therefore, an improvement of mineral fertilizer management could result in 16.5% lower soil N2O emissions. The complete waiving of the use of synthetic fertilizers could reduce the emission of GHGs directly emitted by soils by 15%. Additionally, a substantial part of the 0.81 Mt CO2 eq emitted by the production of agricultural inputs abroad could be reduced by the renunciation of synthetic fertilizer. Accounting half of the emissions from the production of agricultural inputs abroad to synthetic fertilizer, a waiving of mineral fertilizers would lead to a reduction of GHG emissions from agriculture by approximately 0.64 MT CO2 eq per year. This accounts for a reduction of 10% of the agricultural GHG emissions. Since policies are aiming at the reduction and not at the complete renunciation of organic fertilizers the suggested policies would result in GHG emission reduction in accordance with the proportion of mineral fertilizer reduced.
The costs of this measure will be covered by the farmers themselves. However, better education on climate-friendly agricultural practices, particularly higher nitrogen use efficiency and an increased use of nitrogen fixing crops, and the general reduction of nitrogen inefficient livestock husbandry will lead to a higher nutrient use efficiency. Therefore, overall production of food calories and -proteins will not decline and no additional costs should arise.
Enhancing nutrient (mainly nitrogen) use efficiency should not lead to lower yields and therefore a reduction in fertilizer use should not come at a cost or might even be financially beneficial for farmers. Studies have shown that intensive crop management does not necessarily increase GHG emissions per unit of crop production (Snyder et al. 2009).
A complete renunciation from synthetic fertilizers will possibly lead to lower outputs (Necpalova et al. 2018). To maintain our current production level of energies, proteins and nutrients a simultaneous withdrawal from the production of animal feed on agricultural areas is necessary. However, the initial increase of production costs might cause temporary problems with a lack of income for the farmers. This should be overcome by a fairer pricing system accounting for more sustainable production systems. Further thorough consulting and a step by step implementation are necessary accompanying measures to guarantee a smooth transition.
Massnahme 6.31 : Wiedervernässung von organischen Böden
Trotz einer langen Geschichte der Entwässerung sind immer noch grosse Mengen von Kohlenstoff in organischen Böden gespeichert. Diese Vorräte (die etwa zwei Jahren der gesamten schweizerischen THG-Emissionen entsprechen) sollten durch Wiedervernässung erhalten werden. Es können somit sogar zusätzlich THG-Emissionen gespeichert werden
The use of organic soils for arable farming or grazing is another major source of GHG emissions. These soils are formed by the anaerobic, incomplete decomposition of plant matter in water-saturated soil in peatlands (fens or bogs). Typically, farming requires the drainage of these soils. Upon drainage however, the peat becomes exposed to oxygen and a high amount of carbon which has accumulated over thousands of years is released to the atmosphere in the form of CO2. Despite their long history of drainage, large amounts of carbon are still stored in organic soils. These stocks (equivalent to about two years of total Swiss GHG emissions) should be preserved by rewetting, thereby reducing GHG emissions. Over longer time scales rewetting can also, under favorable conditions, renew the C-sink function of these soils.
Currently farmers receive direct payments for very general services (e.g. Versorgungssicherheitsbeiträge/ Contributions à la sécurité de l’approvisionnement/ Contributi per la sicurezza dell’approvvigionamento). Part of these subsidies are also invested in the cultivation of organic soils. Furthermore, the government invests large amounts of money in the renewal and maintenance of drainage systems (about CHF 1000 per hectare) and will have to invest 1.7 billion in the next 10-15 years (SRF 2017). These funds should be used for rewetting and renaturation projects. The costs to rewet these soils are very high on a per area basis and are additionally associated with a decrease in agricultural production. Additional funds should therefore be used to incentivize alternative income sources for affected farmers. CO2 certificates are another option. A program that is already running for raised bogs is max.moor. Current prices are too low and would need to be roughly doubled (Ferré et al. 2019).
The mitigation potential of organic soils under agricultural use (intact or degraded peaty soils) is large, as they emit about 0.6 Mio. t CO2-eq. per year (about 10% of the agricultural emissions, see “Current situation”).
Rewetted organic soils could be used for paludicultures (wetland plants). Examples are Phragmites australis (for paper and pulp production or as fuel), Typha sp. (cattail, as insulation or construction material or as fuel), Sphagnum sp. (alternative for peat in horticulture), Alnus glutinosa (as construction or furniture wood, fuel). Experiments with rice have been performed in the Seeland and have shown that rice would offer an economically as well as ecologically (especially for biodiversity) very interesting option (SRF 2019b; 2019a). Whether significant amounts of methane are emitted has yet to be assessed.
Organic soils are very important for vegetable farming. An alternative might be to farm vegetables on Hors-Sol in vertical farms.
Massnahme 6.32 : Standard-Mineralölsteuer in der Landwirtschaft
Für die landwirtschaftliche Produktion soll eine einheitliche Mineralölsteuer erhoben werden. Mit dieser Massnahme können zusätzliche Massnahmen, die auf die Erstellung von Kostenwahrheit und Veränderungen im Mobilitätssektor abzielen, dann automatisch auch auf die Mobilität im Agrarsektor angewandt werden.
CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in agricultural machinery and buildings amount to 0.63 Mt CO2 eq. and therefore contribute 10% of the GHG emissions from agricultural production in Switzerland. To increase the efficiency of the use of agricultural machinery standard mineral oil tax should be applied for agricultural production. With this measure, additional policies aiming at an establishment of Truth of Costs and changes in the mobility sector can automatically be applied to mobility in the agricultural sector as well.
The costs of this measure will be covered by the farmers themselves. However, a redistribution of subsidies can support the shift towards emission-free energy alternatives here as well. Furthermore, the improved use of fossil fuels and heavy machinery in many cases lowers or even neutralizes the economic impact of this measure for farmers.
The improved use of fossil fuels and heavy machinery in agriculture is estimated to reduce the amount of CO2 eq. of the combustion of fossil fuels in agriculture by ⅓.
Massnahme 6.33 : Förderung einzelner technischer Entschärfungsmassnahmen
Die Landwirt*innen sollen freien Zugang zu jeder Art von Informationen (wie wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse, meteorologische Daten, Bodeninformationen usw.) haben und bei der aktiven Verbesserung ihres Produktionssystems (Böden, Pflanzen, Tiere, Infrastruktur) unterstützt werden. Ebenso sollten Landwirt*innen an Programmen zur Kapazitätssteigerung teilnehmen und Beratungsdienste in Anspruch nehmen können. Ihr Einkommen, muss hoch genug sein, damit sie sich zeitlich und finanziell leisten können, ihre Produktion zu optimieren. Einzelne technische Massnahmen können direkt subventioniert werden
Many organizations and institutions already elaborated compilations of technical measures to reduce GHG emissions. Instead of discussing the individual measures here again, we rather focus on this contribution on the general aspects and findings.
The highly complex biochemical emission processes with a great number of different microorganisms involve generally difficult technical reduction potentials on agricultural farms. Additionally, the great number of individual emission sources are often interconnected among each other’s exacerbating effective mitigation measures. Numerous negative side effects, trade-offs with other pollutants and/or animal welfare as well as high implementation costs are additional challenges of technical reduction measures. After decades of intensive research on agricultural GHG emissions no technical solution or set of reduction measures with a potential that would be sufficient to meet the necessary reduction for the 2 °C target (even less so for the 1.5 °C target) is in sight (Bajzelj et al. 2014; Bryngelsson et al. 2016; Garnett 2011; Hedenus, Wirsenius, and Johansson 2014). This is particularly true for the most important emission sources: methane emissions from enteric fermentation and nitrous oxide emissions from soils.
Supposedly effective reduction measures based on chemical enzyme blockers such as nitrification inhibitors (3,4-Dimethylpyrazolphosphat (DMPP), Dicyandiamid (DCD), Nitrapyrin, Etridiazol) or methane inhibitors for enteric fermentation (3-nitrooxypropanol (3NOP)) run the risk of yet unknown negative side effects and should be dealt with restraint under strict observance of the Precautionary Principle (UNESCO 2020). Furthermore, consumers can be very sensitive to chemical substances used in agriculture. Bad experiences with nitrification inhibitors in New Zealand advice to pursue these seemingly promising mitigation measures with caution.
Major potentials might be situated in the field of soil carbon sequestration. In particular, soil application of biochar or deep ploughing of arable land may lead to the build-up of higher stocks of soil organic carbon. However, several drawbacks such as large uncertainties, reversibility and saturation effects should be clarified.
One way forward might be a target-oriented program that promotes the simultaneous implementation of many technical measures. Examples are a system of maximum allowable nitrogen surpluses or a points-based system that prescribes a minimal score for different farm types. Such arrangements allow flexibility for individual farms to exploit site-specific potentials. The effect of the latter, however, remains limited if the major emission sources from enteric fermentation and manure management are not addressed.
In conclusion, technical measures on the production side are characterized by low reduction potentials and/or by trade-offs with other environmental impacts, as well as by technical problems with implementation and/or prohibitive costs. First experiences with pilot projects in Switzerland and abroad confirm this finding. Given this, a mitigation strategy based solely on technical, production-side measures does not seem a viable way to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement (1.5 °C or 2 °C target). This finding is also supported by the fact that agricultural GHG emissions in OECD(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) -countries did hardly decline in the past decade, despite significant investments in research and development (OECD 2013). Furthermore, the lacking progress in reducing the ammonia- and nitrogen surplus problem should make us cautious regarding promised technical potentials. Accordingly, false trust in technical solutions should under no circumstances delay urgent action that address agricultural structures through a change in human diet and reduced food waste.
All policies, namely financial incentives, should be designed in a way that they do not consolidate agricultural structures and production processes that cause negative environmental and social impacts. Any lock-in situation due to high investments that exacerbate further mitigation action must be avoided. Technical mitigation measures should also not hamper locally adapted production and should be designed in a way that does not contradict the fundamental properties of a climate friendly production system (Figure 6-3). A thorough analysis of all technical policy measures in this respect is essential.
Economic Incentives that Allow the Implementation of Technical Measures
Ideally the producer price for the farmers should be high enough in order to allow the implementation of technical measures and produce accordingly to the best available and sustainable management practices. Internalizing all environmental and social costs can therefore be a prerequisite to this policy. The income of the farmers should allow them to dedicate sufficient time in the observation, analysis and optimization of their production system (soils, plants, animals, infrastructure). Likewise, farmers should be able to participate in capacity building programs and benefit from consultation services. As a last option individual technical measure can directly be subsidized.
Research and Development
Research and development of promising mitigation measures such as feed additives to reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation or measures to promote soil organic carbon sequestration should be promoted by dedication of sufficient financial resources. Applied research and investigation of implementation mechanisms on the farms should be strengthened. Among this, research studies that analyze the sociocultural background of the farmers and how their engagement can be raised.
Overarching Programs and Access to Information
Overarching programs such as low emission breeding programs for livestock or geographical information systems to promote locally adapted agriculture should be financed and supported. Farmers should have free access to any other kind of information (scientific results, meteorological data, soil information etc.) that contributes to an optimized management.
Kapitel 7: Negative Emissionen
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 7.1: Finanzierung negativer Emissionen durch Treibhausgasabgaben
Ab 2030 sind nur noch durch NETs real kompensierte Treibhausgasemissionen erlaubt. Um sicherzustellen, dass NETs im Jahr 2030 zu erschwinglichen Kosten zur Verfügung stehen, muss von nun an ein jährlich steigender Anteil der CO2-Abgabe als Anschubfinanzierung in NET-Projekte fliessen. Auf diese Weise können die Anlagen später kostengünstiger zur Verfügung stehen. Ziel ist es, die Kosten auf unter 200 Fr./t zu senken. Neben der CO2-Abgabe eignet sich auch die Flugticketabgabe als Anschubfinanzierung.
Assumption: NET costs 200 Fr./t in 2030 (mean value of the assumptions of Fuss et al. 2018)
Goal: a socially and economically acceptable way that all greenhouse gas emissions are either avoided or compensated in real terms via NETs in 2030 - i.e. net zero is reached in 2030. From 2030 onwards, only greenhouse gas emissions compensated in real terms by NETs are allowed. To ensure that NETs are available at affordable costs in 2030, an annually increasing portion of the CO2 tax must flow into NET projects as start-up financing from now on. In this way, the plants are manufactured industrially and become more cost-effective - the goal is to achieve costs below 200 Fr./t. In addition to the CO2 tax, the air ticket tax is also suitable as start-up financing.
- Initially for example 5% of the increasing CO2 tax of CHF 120 starting 2021 and CHF 525/t CO2 by 2030 must be used for the real compensation of emissions with NETs, the rest is redistributed per capita. The proportion that flows into NETs is increased by 5% each year. It can be assumed that by then the price of NETs will have fallen to 200 Fr./t and thus with the CO2 tax all emissions can be removed from the air in real terms (net zero).
- The path of the slowly increasing NETs share in the subsidy levy is socially and economically compatible: CO2 emissions will decrease sharply, thereby stabilizing per capita spending on NETs at a low level.
Figure 7-2: Possible emission pathway for Switzerland with 13% annual decrease and the usage and costs of NETs reaching net 0 GHG emissions by 2030.
- The CO2 levy might not lead to a sufficiently strong reduction in emissions - therefore it is important that DACCS is reserved for emissions that are difficult to avoid and that easily substitutable applications such as combustion engines, oil and gas heating systems etc. are banned. To achieve net zero only through prices would require enormously high CO2 taxes.
- The tax is called CO2 tax - but it should apply to all greenhouse gas emissions - simply converted to CO2eq
- This tax requires a border tax adjustment to protect the domestic industry from competitors who do not have a comparable CO2 tax.
- If the price of NETs continues to fall after 2030, CO2 emitters can use NETs to buy themselves free from the CO2 tax - the government tax of 200 Fr./t is therefore the upper limit.
- A sensible distribution key between the different NETs has to be elaborated.
- However, only negative emission technologies are allowed, where a storage of CO2 of >90% over at least 100 years can be expected to be as good as certain (virtually certain). This excludes compensation methods that only simulate artificial CO2 compensation, such as forestation or protection against deforestation.
- Investments must also be made in technologies that are not the cheapest from the outset, but have the potential to store large quantities of CO2 and become attractively priced (start-up financing).
Massnahme 7.2: Kompensation der Emissionen von importierten Gütern
Die Schweiz neutralisiert ihre verbrauchsabhängigen THG-Emissionen. Die Emissionen aus der Produktion und der Nutzung aller in die Schweiz importierten Güter/Energieträger müssen bis 2022 mit 1% negativ kompensiert werden. Der Anteil der Gesamtemissionen, für den negative Emissionen gekauft werden müssen, steigt auf 2% im Jahr 2023, 4% im Jahr 2024, 8% im Jahr 2025, 16% im Jahr 2026, 32% im Jahr 2027, 64% im Jahr 2028, 85% im Jahr 2029 und bleibt ab 2030 bei 100%. So wird eine Lernkurve nachgeahmt. Die Importeur*innen bezahlen so die Anbieter*innen dafür, diesen Prozentsatz des CO2 aus der Atmosphäre zu entfernen und langfristig zu speichern.
Switzerland neutralizes its consumption based GHG emissions. The emissions from the production and utilization of all imported goods/energy carriers into Switzerland must be negatively compensated by 1% in 2022. The fraction of total emissions for which negative emissions have to be bought increases to 2% in 2023, 4% in 2024, 8% in 2025, 16% in 2026, 32% in 2027, 64% in 2028, 85% in 2029 and remains at 100% in/after 2030, thereby mimicking a learning curve. The importers pay providers to remove this percentage of CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it for the long term. This creates a market that sets a real CO2 price and reduces the demand for GHG intensive goods and services. It also ensures that CO2 will be offset in the long term and that net zero will be reached in 2030, which is in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. An economic incentive is also created to either mitigate, or not to mitigate and, in turn, pay for the disposal of the resulting emissions. Purchases of negative emissions are possible in Switzerland or abroad and can be credited in an equivalent manner. Independently of the storage location, only negative emission technologies are permitted in which CO2 storage of more than 90% for at least 100 years is expected to be virtually certain. This excludes simple afforestation or forest preservation, well established methods to artificially offset CO2 in 2020. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions have to be compensated with negative CO2 emissions, with an identical annual increase in percentage. The amount of CO2 to compensate is calculated using CO2 equivalents (e.g. 1 t methane emitted = 34 t CO2 to be negatively compensated, 1t nitrous oxide = 298 t CO2). A product specific cross-border adjustment should be introduced for imports and exports of greenhouse gas intensive products. It would be paid at importing from and received at exporting to countries with less strict CO2 policies.
Massnahme 7.3: Subventionierung von NETs mit erstatteter allgemeiner Treibhausgasabgabe
Diese Massnahme garantiert Unternehmen oder Privatpersonen eine feste Subvention für jede Tonne CO2, die über einen bestimmten Zeitraum nachweislich aus der Atmosphäre entfernt wird. Die Subvention pro Tonne entzogenem CO2 wird im Zuge des Ausbaus der schweizerischen Nettokapazität schrittweise reduziert. Die Subvention pro Tonne entfernten CO2 ist spezifisch für die jeweilige NET.
In order to attract investments into NET-technologies, investors need security of investment. This policy guarantees companies or privates a fixed subsidy for each ton of CO2 verifiably removed from the atmosphere over a predetermined period of time. The subsidy per ton of removed CO2 is gradually reduced as Switzerland’s NET capacity is scaled up. During the scale up the costs per ton of removed CO2 decreases steadily over time and approaches the level of the implemented steering tax at some point in the future.
The subsidy per ton of CO2 removed is specific to the NET involved. The level of compensation applied to each NET is determined by the NETs portfolio Switzerland aims for post-decarbonization. The composition of that portfolio requires a comprehensive analysis of benefits and risks of constituent NETs, including potential scalability, cost, side-effects and so on.
With this approach, a clear incentive towards a technology portfolio of choice could be provided, avoiding long-term costs resulting from lock-in effects arising from the scale-up of inappropriate NETs due to short-term business considerations. This extends the incentive structure not merely away from fossil fuels (arising from a greenhouse gas levy), but towards a desired end state. It would also reduce one of the main impediments for the flow of capital into novel technological endeavors: investor risk aversion. By guaranteeing compensation, the fat-tail of losses in the return on investment distribution are curtailed. Thus, with downsides managed, investors can focus on potential upsides, which will increase investment. Third, the approach can be naturally combined with any greenhouse gas levy laid out above. The financing of the subsidies can be implemented flexibly.
Kapitel 8: Finanzsektor
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 8.1 : Rechtlich bindende Reduktionsziele / Anpassung der CO2 Gesetzgebung
Der Finanzsektor wird spätestens 2030 CO2-neutral. Neue Investitionen, Kredite und Versicherungsleistungen für Projekte und Firmen, die fossile Brennstoffe fördern sollen ab sofort verboten werden. Finanzinstitute müssen bin Ende 2020 Pläne für eine Dekarbonisierung vorlegen.
At the fourth national meeting, the climate strike adopted the following demands, among others, by consensus (Klimastreik Schweiz 2019):
"We call for a reduction of the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of the Swiss financial sector to a net 0 by 2030, in particular a halt to financing, investment and insurance services for fossil fuels.
- From now on no new investments, credits and insurance services for projects and companies active in fossil fuel extraction! This includes coal companies, the tar sand industry, natural gas and oil.
- The financial institutions should present clear plans by the end of 2020 with concrete goals and measures to bring their financial flows (loans, investments and insurance services) to a net zero by 2030.”
These points could be anchored in the CO2 law as well as in the financial laws. The new CO2 law, which has now been passed but has not yet come into force, does not envisage any intervention in the financial sector today. Individual proposals that were part of this directive were rejected. This appears to be disproportionate.
Concrete implementations of these demands by legislators and regulators could look like this
- The CO2 law already sets reduction targets for other sectors. The majority of the emissions caused by direct and indirect financing of the financial sector are generated abroad, but here too Switzerland should anchor reduction targets for financial institutions for their scope 1-3 emissions in the CO2 law. More concretely, a complete reduction of all direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions through financing, investments and insurance services, particularly in fossil fuels, so that the financial sector reaches a net zero by 2030, should be enshrined in law.
- All new investments, direct or indirect, in fossil energies must be prohibited. It is up to the regulatory authorities to decide how such a ban will be implemented and enforced and how much time will be allowed for this implementation.
- Target agreements with individual financial institutions that are responsible for a particularly large number of emissions would also be desirable. These financial institutions would then have to prepare regular reports.
- These targets should also be included in the Swiss NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) and communicated to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
- All financial institutions should be obliged to develop net zero plans: All financial institutions should be obliged to develop a company-wide climate strategy that leads to complete decarbonization by 2030. This should include both the exercise of voting rights of shareholders and engagement strategies.
No public funds need to be used to implement such regulations, or the wages and maintenance of the regulators' offices would have to be financed.
Such legislation is a clear and unequivocal signal to the financial world. The impact of this measure is above all the clear commitment to the decarbonization targets and the initiation of the necessary steps. Necessary steps in this case are climate compatibility tests, climate risk stress tests and the development of implementation plans, which of course differ for individual financial institutions. For any financial institution, this transition is such a major undertaking, which is associated with many uncertainties, that it does not even start. The impact of this policy would be to create a uniform and binding framework for all market players, thus overcoming the hesitation that has existed to date.
The federal government is already providing financial institutions with expertise and know-how. For example, the FOEN has developed a climate compatibility test, PACTA. These offers of the test are open today, but not mandatory for financial institutions; such legislation would lead to the federal government's expertise being used.
These laws would have an impact above all at the macro level. For example, it could be questionable what a sudden stop of new investments in fossil fuels could mean for workers in producing countries. This could be alleviated by targeted retraining programs. Investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency have a higher employment impact than the capital-intensive mining of coal, oil and gas. In addition, even independently of climate protection, these jobs are endangered by the strong fluctuations in oil prices and the financial market risks triggered by the carbon bubble.
In realpolitik, it takes a long time for such laws to come into being and/or be implemented. It is far more desirable for financial institutions to commit themselves to these goals on their own initiative now and to develop action plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. The confederation and regulators must help them to do so, for example in the form of climate compatibility tests (see Policy 2) or through expert knowledge.
An immediate ban on new investments in fossil fuels, as explicitly called for by the climate strike, could come too suddenly and pose a particular challenge for large financial institutions. With reference to the literature on the carbon bubble (Clark 2015), one could conclude that this would cause panic on the stock market. "Immediately" should therefore reasonably and consistently be understood as "as quickly as possible". It is desirable that regulators work with the financial sector to work out a transition that is compatible for the stock market and the economy. The earlier this challenge is actively addressed, the better the chances are of avoiding major distortions that would cause the carbon bubble to burst.
Massnahme 8.2 : Finanzinstitute zu Klimaverträglichkeitstests verpflichten
Finanzinstitutionen sollen einem jährlichen Klimaverträglichkeitstest unterzogen werden, dessen Ergebnisse veröffentlicht werden
The first necessary step for all financial institutions is to analyze the carbon footprint of their own financial flows. Financial institutions should undergo an annual climate compatibility test and disclose this information. Since 2017, the FOEN and the SIF (State Secretariat for International Finance) have been conducting voluntary pilot tests to analyze the climate compatibility of financial portfolios of pension funds and insurance companies (FOEN 2020c). This test should be made mandatory by law. The test should be mandatory for all financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, pension funds) and cover the entire investment universe, including loans and insurance.
The results of this test will only provide specific information about which scenario of temperature rise is supported by the respective portfolio (for example 2 °C/ 4-6 °C, etc.). However, climate risks and the associated physical and financial transition risks are also a threat to the stability of the economy (see information on Carbon Bubble in the section Current Situation).
In the UK, the Bank of England conducts stress tests on climate risks in the portfolios of financial institutions (Bank of England 2019). The FINMA and/or SNB should do the same as the Bank of England. All financial institutions should be required to perform such a stress test annually.
The Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) and FINMA/SNB should collect these data on financial market stability and inform the public transparently about the results every year.
The measure could be implemented by the existing institutions (FINMA, SNB, FOEN). At best, the relevant departments would have to be expanded to include additional specialists.
Without a thorough analysis of the current situation, no targeted measures can be taken. The climate stress tests provide decision-makers within and outside the financial institutions with the necessary information basis for reducing the identified climate risks.
The measure should contribute significantly to the well-being of the population, since a sustainable and stable financial sector does not represent a cluster risk for the entire economy.
It remains to be seen whether it makes more sense to delegate this task to the SNB or FINMA. However, this should not affect the impact of the policy, what counts is that such annual stress tests are institutionalized and conducted annually.
Massnahme 8.3 : Institution für Grüne Investitionen
Eine Institution für Grünes Investment könnte die bestehenden finanziellen Mittel durch Investitionen in klimafreundliche Energieprojekte ergänzen. Die Institution für Grüne Investitionen ist dazu da, Fremdkapital für Firmen und Projekte bereitzustellen, z.B. in Form von Grünen Krediten.
In the Cross Sectoral Policies chapter the Climate Bank is described in more detail, the following policy is similar.
The new CO2 law provides for a climate fund. Investments are urgently needed for the necessary building renovations, the turnaround in transport and not least the energy turnaround. Especially for the energy turnaround, public funds are needed so that new solutions, which already exist, can quickly enough establish themselves on the market. The climate fund is therefore a necessary step, but it is not sufficient. A Green Investment Facility could complement the existing funds by investing in climate-friendly energy projects (e.g. power generation from renewable energies, heating networks). The necessary funds and appropriate "Climate Agencies" which should receive them are explained in the Cross Sectoral Chapter as well as in the Transport, Building and Energy Chapters. The Green Investment Facility is intended to provide debt capital to companies and projects, for example in the form of Green Bonds. Thus, the market should become more attractive for private investors through public investments. Due to the still missing truth of costs caused by indirect subsidies for fossil energies and further hurdles for renewable energy sources, private investors estimate the risks as too unclear or high for corresponding projects. The Green Investment Facility can specifically create security for private investors. Furthermore, public funds are used responsibly by making them available as debt capital. During the Corona crisis, the Swiss government has proven that it is capable of a public-private partnership to effectively mobilize large amounts of private funds.
The climate fund proposed by the ESPEC-S (Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy Committees) could, as also proposed by the Commission, replace existing funding instruments such as the technology fund and the buildings program. However, the UREK-S proposal would only be effective in the medium to long term and would hardly help to achieve net zero by 2030. We therefore propose that the fund be filled up promptly, thereby triggering a green stimulus to counter the current recession. Economic measures are urgently needed in the current economic situation, and the federal government can thus provide targeted support for sustainable industries instead of pre-programming the next crisis with indiscriminate rescue measures for emission-intensive industries.
To ensure that the accelerated investments can be absorbed by the market, complementary measures should be taken (see Policy 8.11).
Within the framework of international treaties, Switzerland has declared itself willing to provide international funds for mitigation and adaptation efforts in countries of the Global South. This is currently done through the international Green Climate Fund. A Swiss Green Investment Facility could also mobilize private capital for mitigation and adaptation efforts in the international context.
There are various financing options available, which should be combined for maximum effectiveness. A transfer payment from the SNB is proposed. In the current situation, the Green Investment Facility is to be used as an economic tool, so the SNB is an appropriate source of financing. The current financing can be supplemented by earmarking part of the CO2 tax or an air ticket tax. In any case, care must be taken to ensure that sufficient funds are available at the beginning of the decade and that they cannot be invested only shortly before 2030.
The green stimulus that has been triggered can pull the economy out of recession again. As stated in other chapters, investments in energy system transformation, transport transformation and building refurbishment are now necessary if a consistent reduction path is to be followed, leading to net zero GHG emissions in 2030. In the medium to long term, private capital will also increasingly flow into technologies and infrastructure necessary for a climate-neutral society and economy. By reinvesting the proceeds of these initial investments, the effectiveness of the Green Investment Facility can be further increased over the years.
The Green Investment Facility (together with the Climate Bank) would primarily trigger accelerated climate protection investments domestically and thus secure or create jobs in the skilled trades and construction industry. In contrast, these investments could lead to a decline in employment in the oil and gas sector, which should, however, be less significant in net terms due to the higher employment intensity of the former, and which are also less likely to be located domestically. When investing in rental buildings, care must be taken to ensure that costs and benefits are shared fairly between landlords and tenants (see chapter on buildings). Due to their greater potential of land for renewable energy projects, rural areas could benefit disproportionately from Green Investment Facility investments, which would benefit national cohesion and social cohesion. At a later stage, the expertise gained in the context of Swiss development cooperation could lead to better services and support for these countries.
Questions and Uncertainties
The governance of the Green Investment Facility should ensure a balanced mix of technical expertise, democratic control and social transparency. Cooperation within the framework of a public-private partnership can increase acceptance of the new institution, but care must be taken to ensure a fair distribution of profits and losses between public and private shareholders. When designing the investment portfolio, it must be ensured that investments are mainly made in projects that will achieve emission-reducing effects in the next 10 years.
Massnahme 8.4 : Übernahme der Grünen Taxonomie der EU
Die Taxonomie identifiziert und klassifiziert wirtschaftliche Handlungen von Firmen der CO2-kritischsten Branchen nach Klimakriterien. Firmen können diese Taxonomie nutzen, um sogenannte “Grüne Anleihen” auszugeben, Finanzinstitute können in sie investieren. Solche Taxonomien bilden die Basis, um Finanzflüsse zu erreichen, die dem Ziel von netto null 2030 entsprechen.
In order to be able to make sustainable investments, the financial sector needs a database. The climate-damaging and also climate-positive effects of companies are not always directly comprehensible. Emissions occur everywhere in the value chain of a company, which is why they are referred to as Scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions.
Financial institutions usually simply evaluate companies via their periodic financial statements. These do not contain any information about the climate compatibility of a company's overall economic activities. Financial institutions usually do not have the expertise to evaluate the climate impact of their financial flows. Therefore, financial institutions are required to perform climate change assessments (see policy 8.2).
In order to make it possible in the long term for financial institutions to competently take climate risks into account in their decisions without the need for such external tests, a classification or a so-called "Green Taxonomy" is needed.
The EU Taxonomy has developed a "Green Taxonomy", which has exactly this goal (Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance 2020). The EU Taxonomy identifies and classifies economic activities of companies in the most CO2 intensive industries according to climate criteria. These activities are examined whether they have a positive impact on the climate and/or a neutral impact on the climate. Economic activities that have a specific negative impact on the climate are not classified separately, so they are called "green" taxonomies, not "brown" taxonomies. Companies can use this taxonomy to issue so-called "green bonds", financial institutions can invest in them.
In the EU, this system will take effect from 2021. As in the EU, companies listed on the Swiss stock exchange and other large companies (e.g. over 500 employees and over CHF 500 mio turnover) should report EU Taxonomy compliant.
Financial institutions themselves, as companies listed on the stock exchange, would of course also have to do this. Such a measure creates more transparency and helps the financial sector to be able to invest specifically in the ecological transition of our economy.
For companies there will be an additional effort in reporting. This will also involve more time and costs. Even if the Swiss financial market does not adopt the EU Taxonomy as proposed in this policy, companies operating in the EU area will have to do so anyway. Costs are lower if you follow the EU regulations. Furthermore, all kinds of companies will have to start making thorough analyses of their environmental footprint anyway, so they should already have this data available.
Investment and Divestment are two sides of the same coin. Such taxonomies provide the basis with which net zero financial flows can be achieved. The impact of this policy would be accordingly immense and absolutely necessary for the change of our economy.
Even if these taxonomies are initially only binding for the European area, they have the potential to become a blueprint for the rest of the world.
Massnahme 8.5 : Rechnungslegung für CO2
Um Transparenz innerhalb des Finanzsektors und für die Öffentlichkeit zu schaffen, sollen bestehende Schweizer Buchhaltungsstandards (z.B. Swiss GAAP FER) unter Berücksichtigung aller Bereiche (Scope 1-3) auf die Dokumentierung von CO2-Emissionen ausgeweitet werden. Diese Erweiterung soll ausserdem ein Kriterium für die Aufnahme in die Schweizer Börse werden.
In order to create transparency for the financial sector and for the general public, existing Swiss accounting standards (e.g. Swiss GAAP FER) should be extended to include the documentation of CO2 emissions, taking into account all scopes (Scopes 1-3). The inclusion of climate risks will thus be institutionalized not only for financial institutions, but for all companies that apply the corresponding accounting standards and are listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange. This extension should also become an admission requirement for the Swiss Stock Exchange. This would make carbon footprint analysis a standard practice and standard valuations would become a fixed part of it. On the one hand, financial institutions will be able to make informed decisions on the financing side, and on the other hand, listed companies will have to deal with their environmental footprint more intensively.
As described above, this policy would have the effect of ensuring that the debate on climate risks is taken into account more intensively and thoroughly within the overall economy. Climate risks, like liquidity risks or the financial statements of a company in general, should be considered holistically. Such a policy would aim to achieve this.
It would also improve transparency for the public and all stakeholders. Today, many companies have corporate responsibility or sustainability reports, but these are often primarily a marketing tool and contain little concrete information and figures, but all the more buzzwords. This does not yet guarantee transparency. In fact, these reports are often only used as greenwashing tools.
Some companies are both part of the problem and part of the solution. Companies that develop and promote technologies that contribute to the transition of the economy as a whole are still emitting emissions today. However, it should be possible to show such efforts in the context of carbon accounting. Nevertheless, clear information and transparency are important to prevent greenwashing.
Massnahme 8.6 : Klare Definition treuhänderischer Pflichten
Treuhänderische Pflichten müssen auf den Klimafussabdruck ausgeweitet werden. Das explizite Umschreiben von Gesetzestexten ist notwendig, damit Versicherungsunternehmen ihre Treuepflichten mit Rechtssicherheit ausüben können.
For all who manage foreign money, the so-called "fiduciary duty" applies. First and foremost, these are pension funds and insurance companies. Basically, this refers to a responsible management of the insured persons' money "to the best of their knowledge and belief". This means, for example:
- Appropriate inclusion of risks and corresponding diversification of portfolios
- Duty of information and transparency towards the insured persons
One of the reasons often cited why financial institutions still invest heavily in fossil energy is precisely this portfolio diversification (Kohli 2019).
It is precisely this diversification that prevents many from exiting the fossil energy sector. In practice, diversified investment or supposedly diversified investment is merely a reflection of the entire index. In other words, one tries to invest in everything, including fossil energy. The desired effect is that the portfolios do not suffer massive losses due to possible fluctuations on the stock market.
Unfortunately, the fact that the inclusion of investments in fossil energy to the extent that it is done today is negligent is strongly neglected. Because, as already mentioned, there is the danger of a carbon bubble. Other countries, such as France and the Netherlands, already require their institutional investors to include climate and ESG factors in their investment policy and to disclose their portfolios and the climate risks they entail transparently. Other central banks, such as the Swedish and British central banks are now actively pursuing divestment, partly because they fear risks to financial market stability.
Various legal reports, including an expert report from the FOEN, one from the Climate Alliance, one from the WWF and also an expert report from the UNEP-FI Initiative, come to the conclusion that, on the one hand, the fiduciary duty is too imprecisely defined and, on the other hand, it contradicts the fiduciary duty if climate risks are not included in the diversification of portfolios (Eggen and Stengel 2019; Abegglen 2018). (Sullivan 2015)
The legal articles in the BVG/LPP and other relevant laws should be adapted so that climate risks are explicitly mentioned.
In addition, institutional investors should exercise their voting rights at general meetings of Swiss and foreign companies and vote in the interests of the insured persons.
Pension funds and their trustees need legal clarity in order to be able to exercise their fiduciary duties. Insurance companies need to stay within the law when managing their clients' money, and given how important this money is, it is right and proper that they do so. It is described in detail above why this extension of fiduciary duty is justified. Its explicit rewriting in the legal texts is necessary so that insurance companies can exercise their fiduciary duty and have legal certainty.
In Switzerland, all investments are made in the second pillar. This gives pension funds an extremely large lever to help with the transition of the overall economy.
The fiduciary duty in and of itself is a matter of social security. Thus, the clear definition of the fiduciary duty improves social security.
Massnahme 8.7 : Aufnahme von Nachhaltigkeitszielen durch die SNB
Nachhaltigkeits- und Klimarisiken sollten für die SNB höchste Priorität haben. Die Artikel der Bundesverfassung und Gesetzestexte, die die SNB betreffen, sollen durch das Prinzip der Nachhaltigkeit ergänzt werden.
The purpose and objectives of the Swiss National Bank are anchored in the Constitution and the law. The stability of the national economy thereby is the main objective of the SNB. The corresponding federal constitutional and legal articles should be supplemented by the concept of sustainability. As already explained in the Current State, the unsustainable and short-term oriented economy of the Swiss financial center is a threat to the stability of the entire economy. Sustainability and the climate risks should be a top priority for the SNB. This view is not shared by the SNB itself, as it sees itself primarily as a neutral and independent authority. It is questionable to what extent this positioning is compatible already with the current articles of the Federal Constitution. In the longer term, even after the climate crisis has been overcome and for timely recognition and pro-active action against future crises, sustainability and long-term thinking will be necessary and should be explicitly mentioned in the relevant articles.
The Bank of England has been doing this for years. The ECB (European Central Bank) and other European central banks are currently also moving in this direction, for example by actively pursuing divestment strategies.
Massnahme 8.8 : Einflussnahme der SNB als Aktionär
Die SNB soll von ihrem Stimmrecht als Aktionärin Gebrauch machen. Als Top 40 Aktionär*in vieler Firmen, die CO2 verursachen kann sie daher potentiell einen grossen Einfluss auf die Unternehmensstrategie von Rohstoffhändler*innen und CO2-kritischen Firmen haben.
An important term in the field of sustainable finance is "engagement". Engagement aims to ensure that large investors who own a significant part of a climate-damaging company actively exercise their voting rights and put pressure on the management of the company rather than selling the shares of these companies. Engagement, along with divestment and investment in climate-friendly financial products (e.g. green bonds), is an instrument that can be used by financial institutions for the transition of our economy.
Initiatives like Climate Action 100 pursue this goal (Climate Action 100+ 2020).
The SNB invests its money in a highly diversified manner, i.e. apart from a few human rights-related exclusion criteria, its investment policy tracks the major indices. The SNB is often among the top 40 shareholders of many companies that emit CO2 and thus potentially has a great deal of leverage on the corporate strategy of commodity traders and CO2-intensive companies.
According to its own statements, the SNB pursues an investment policy that is as neutral as possible, which prevents it from actively promoting the consideration of climate aspects by corporate management. It is wary of pursuing a climate policy. However, it is questionable to what extent the active use of voting rights or even divestment measures can be dismissed as climate policy when the stability of the entire economy is at stake, or whether the investment strategy, which the SNB calls "neutral", does not in fact show that the SNB is affected by the same market failure as the rest of the financial sector. The SNB is supposed to drive forward the transition of our economic system to one that is in harmony with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, because only in this way can it guarantee financial stability in the first place.
It is worth mentioning that other independent national banks, such as the Swedish, British and ECB, are doing this today or are committing themselves to it - on the grounds that it is part of financial stability and not a climate policy (Ambrose 2019; Gregory 2019).
Certain sectors, such as commodity trading or the extraction of fossil fuels, can no longer exist in a net zero world. If such companies are not able to drive change even internally, they will go bankrupt. It is preferable that the management in these areas take an active approach to change on their own initiative.
Many people are financially dependent on climate-damaging economic activities. In Switzerland this is the case in the raw materials trade, in countries where fossil fuels are extracted this is much more the case, because in such countries the whole economy is often dependent on this sector. Commitment is the socially acceptable way to reach the goal. Not all investors are big enough to get involved, therefore divestment is more recommendable in many cases. For institutional investors such as the SNB, this approach should be actively pursued.
As mentioned above, engagement is a possible instrument besides divestment and investment. Other central banks pursue a divestment strategy, and we have decided to focus on engagement, also influenced by the fact that the SNB has in the past been strongly opposed to divestment. In practice, it is unclear how effective engagement actually is. There are significant examples where this strategy does not seem to pay off (Mufson 2017). It should also be mentioned that the SNB has a relatively small team of staff and experts. It is questionable whether they have the capacity to get involved. Of course, they are still free to work with experts in the field, such as Ethos (ethos n.d.) or SRP (SVVK-ASIR 2017), to name a few examples. But they are certainly able to pursue divestment strategies.
Massnahme 8.9 : Klimatransparenz für Finanzinstitute
Finanzinstitute sollen Kund*innen transparent über ihren ökologischen Fussabdruck informieren.
In order to comply with the information obligations of financial service providers towards their private customers, financial institutions should inform their customers about the CO2 footprint of the money invested by the customer. This could take the form of an annual report, for example. In this way, customers would be sensitized to the issue and receive information about the climate risks to which they are also entitled.
Many people are not aware of the issue. It is often very difficult to understand what their own bank account or insurance premiums have to do with the climate. The whole business is handed over to the financial service provider of their trust without really knowing what happens to it.
When customers are so ill-informed, they cannot even express their demand for climate-friendly financial products.
This would mean additional work for financial institutions, but in the future, financial institutions should anyway record and analyze their own ecological footprints much better and have this data available to them accordingly. In addition, increased regulation by the EU will certainly mean that this effort will have to be made anyway, so the additional effort should be kept within limits.
Massnahme 8.10 : Bildung und Weiterbildung für Beschäftigte in Pensionsfonds, Banken und Versicherungsunternehmen
Alle Berater*innen und Beschäftigten müssen über Klimarisiken aufgeklärt werden, nicht nur in Bezug auf Investitionen, sondern auch im Kreditgeschäft. Als Teil einer Bildungs- und Weiterbildungsoffensive sollen Unternehmen im Schweizer Finanzsektor verpflichtet sein, bis 2030 jährlich 10% ihrer Beschäftigten zum Thema Klimarisiken weiterzubilden.
The classic training of employees in the financial sector (e.g. Certified Financial Analyst, CFA) traditionally does not include a comprehensive examination of climate risks. Recently, the CFA training has been expanded accordingly (CFA Institute 2020), but still tens of thousands of employees of Swiss banks, insurance companies and pension funds are not sufficiently prepared for the central challenges of the future.
In the future, all consultants and employees are to be made aware of the issue, not only with regard to the investment side, but also in the credit business. Domestically active banks are mostly involved in the mortgage business. Here, too, advisors should be able to provide their customers with professional advice on topics such as building renovation, and the corresponding offers and tools that help with such advice should be expanded (eVALO 2020). Particularly in the lending business of domestic banks, training and further education should be expanded to include climate mathematics.
As part of an education and training offensive, companies in the Swiss financial sector should be required to train 10% of their employees in climate risks each year until 2030. Corresponding offers from universities and e-learning providers could be publicly promoted. The exchange of experience within the industry should also be intensified, for example by presenting regional best practices at learning roundtables of associations or companies.
Education and training is an instrument that allows our overall economy and our labor market to remain flexible and to react to market conditions and changes. The climate crisis is a very good example of a striking change that needs to be responded to. It not only prevents unemployment, but also contributes to the competitiveness of the Swiss economy.
Costs for education and training are covered by the rules both by the employee and the employer. It is highly desirable that the federal government supports this offensive with public funds, in view of the above-mentioned positive factors for the Swiss economy.
Massnahme 8.11 : Steueranreize für die Grüne Säule 3a
Eine Grüne Säule 3a für die private Altersvorsorge soll eingeführt werden. Unterschiedliche Anreize könnten für dieses Programm eingesetzt werden, wie ein Bonus-Malus-System oder eine Erhöhung des Steuerfreibetrags für die Grüne Säule 3a. Gelder könnten auch automatisch in die Grüne Säule 3a investiert werden, sofern der Versicherte nicht explizit Gegenteiliges fordert.
The private retirement provision via the pillar 3a is today tax-privileged, but without making demands on the climate compatibility of the invested funds. If these funds are invested in fossil fuels, this not only has negative ecological consequences, but can also jeopardize the financial security of old-age provision through climate risks. In addition to the standard solution, many investment foundations today also offer portfolios with an equity component (e.g. 25/50/75 % shares). Similarly, green investments should also be made possible and tax-privileged. One simple measure could be to increase the tax-free allowance for Pillar 3a investments in climate-friendly investment products. This measure could also be made revenue-neutral through a bonus-malus system, in which the current tax-free amount of CHF 6826 per year is reduced by 10% for conventional investments in Pillar 3a and increased by 20% for climate-neutral investments, and the tax rates are adjusted accordingly in the following years on the basis of the observed changes in behavior.
The financing is revenue-neutral for the tax authorities due to the bonus-malus system. The providers of conventional Pillar 3a products lose income, but they can compensate for this by offering Green Pillar 3a products.
The retirement capital tied up in Pillar 3a currently amounts to more than CHF 120 bn, with annual contributions of around CHF 10 bn (Schüpbach 2019). Increased investment of these funds in climate-friendly investments can have a significant leverage effect on the other measures of the Climate Action Plan.
A representative survey in 2018 showed that young people in particular (46% of those under 30) would be interested in a Green Pillar 3a (Cousse and Wüstenhagen 2018). With the Green Pillar 3a, this target group could already be actively involved in financing climate-friendly investments today instead of jeopardizing their future by investing their pension fund assets in a way that is harmful to the climate.
Open Questions and Uncertainties
The impact on tax revenues should be carefully monitored. If there is a major switch to the Green Pillar 3a (desirable from a climate perspective), the bonus-malus system should be readjusted in good time.
In an initial phase, small investment foundations, for example, could be overburdened with the offer of a Green Pillar 3a; they could be supported with targeted advisory services (see e.g. Policy 1.9 in the chapter Cross Sectoral Policies).
To be highly effective, the introduction of a Green Pillar IIIa would have to be accompanied by communication. This could either be done by the banks or the tax offices could enclose appropriate information material when sending out tax returns. A "Green Default" would also be conceivable, i.e. that funds are automatically invested in the Green Pillar IIIa unless the insured explicitly request otherwise.
Kapitel 9: Wirtschaft und politische Strukturen
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 9.1: Öffentliches Programm für grüne Jobs
Das öffentliche Programm für grüne Arbeitsplätze (ProGJ) sollte die sozialen Folgen des Übergangs zu einer THG-neutralen Wirtschaft mildern. Es wird Arbeitnehmer*innen bei der Suche nach einem neuen Beruf helfen, sie finanziell unterstützen, wenn sie arbeitslos werden, und einen sozioökonomischen Wandel fördern, indem es neue grüne Arbeitsplätze in Sektoren schafft, die für den grünen Übergang entscheidend sind.
A Public Program for Green Jobs (ProGJ) will be created to cushion the social consequences of the Corona crisis and the transition to a GHG-neutral economy. In the course of decarbonization, jobs will inevitably be lost in emitting sectors, as these will have to shrink or even disappear completely.
The ProGJ should proactively take care of employees in the affected sectors and provide them with an alternative in a sustainable area in advance. For this purpose, it can work together with the Regional Employment Centers (RAV) and must take care of the creation of additional jobs in sustainable areas.
Example 1: The ProGJ, will create a program to advise and support all building owners who want to retrofit their house/flat, install solar panels, replace heating systems or implement other renovations that will decrease the energetic demand of their buildings. This program will assist building owners in finding credit with the climate bank (see chapter Buildings and Spatial Development), information about the different possible technical solutions, and bureaucratic paperwork. This service will be provided free of charge, or at a low price. This program will create jobs and offer training in an important economic sector that will likely develop in the future, at the same time it will accelerate the improvement in building efficiency, and the deployment of renewable energy sources, thus contributing to achieve carbon neutrality.
Example 2: The ProGJ will create repairing centers spread throughout the country. These centers will provide a public repairing service where electrical appliances, furniture, clothes etc. can be repaired at an affordable price. Goods that break within the manufacturer’s warranty can be repaired in these centers free of charge (manufacturers will be charged by the centers for the repair). Additionally, these repairing centers could offer free use of tools, training in several activities, and could become community centers where one can get help with various issues. These centers will have multiple functions, they will provide good jobs and professional training, and through their activity they will increase the lifetime of objects, thus reducing their material footprint. One possible example of how these repair centers could be organized is developed in Policy 9.2.
Example 3: The ProGJ will create a fleet of low-emission or electric public taxis that will provide public transport in rural areas where the population density is too low for the conventional public transport system. This will create job opportunities in marginal areas, improve the capacity of public transport, and will decrease the dependency from cars.
Example 4: The ProGJ, in coordination with the Federal office for the Environment will create a program to improve the biodiversity and the environmental quality in Switzerland (OECD 2017). The ProGJ alone will not be able to reverse the trend in biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, additional policies will be necessary. However, the ProGJ will provide the workforce for the protection, restoration and monitoring of biodiversity and environmental quality. There are countless projects that could be implemented under such a program, and they could include the management of natural areas that are also used for recreation. Especially in the urban context these green areas will also play a role in the adaptation to higher Summer temperatures. When extending green areas in urban contexts, such extension should not lead to gentrified environments (see chapter Buildings and Spatial Development).
Example 5: The ProGJ, in coordination with agencies working in the caring economy (child care, care of elderly, health care) will support an expanding care economy (see Policy 9.3) by facilitating the training of people who would like to work in the care economy, and help them find a job there. Women and men who chose to take care of their children or parents at home will be able to claim their compensation from the ProGJ who will be authorized by the state to treat reproductive care as a normal part of the care economy.
With the implementation of the ProGJ the public sector will take a larger role in the overall economy of Switzerland, and it will provide enhanced services to the population. Therefore, the ProGJ will be financed by the core budget of the state, it is possible that in the first phase the costs of the ProGJ will be substantial, resulting in a government deficit. However, currently government spending is regulated by the debt brake (FFA 2020). The debt brake essentially says that over an economic cycle, expenditures cannot exceed revenues, in this way public debt cannot rise (in the long term). Switzerland’s public debt brake poses a substantial limitation to achieve full funding of the ProGJ, and of the CAP’s policy proposals in general. Therefore, we propose that public investments in mitigation and adaptation spending for climate change are exempted from the public debt brake’s general expenditure rule. Mitigation measures towards carbon neutrality shall not include any climate offsetting or otherwise compensating schemes (e.g. outsourcing as described above).
The impact of the ProGJ on the GHG emissions will be indirect. By creating jobs in economic sectors with low GHG footprint, the ProGJ will contribute to achieve a rapid transition to a GHG neutral economy.
The main goal of the ProGJ is to ensure that the socio-economic transition envisioned by the CAP will be just, equitable, and politically legitimate. The ProGJ should enable all people to find a job in a green sector and keep the unemployment rate low.
Questions and Uncertainties
There are many possible structures and tasks that could be adopted by the ProGJ. One important aspect will be to achieve a good coordination between the federal, cantonal and local activities of the ProGJ. It will also be important to monitor the activities and impact of the ProGJ to adapt its interventions quickly to the changes in the economy.
Massnahme 9.2: Landesweites Netzwerk von Klima-Workshops
Klimawerkstätten stellen Leihgeräte zur Verfügung, bieten Reparaturdienste an und organisieren Weiterbildungsangebote und Kurse. Sie sind Teil der öffentlichen Dienstleistungen und sollten in allen Kantonen und Gemeinden eingerichtet werden.
Climate workshops provide equipment for loan, offer repair services and organize further training and courses. They cover areas such as textile, wood and metal processing, IT and telecommunications consulting and support. In this way, a new economy is created in the local area with the lowest possible transport volumes and optimized use of equipment and expertise. Climate workshops are a focal point in the development of a sustainable and climate-friendly everyday culture in the handling of goods and materials. As the technologies of digital printing become more widespread, the range of possible applications is growing. For example, spare parts can be produced locally. Manufacturers of goods must accordingly be obliged to publish appropriate instructions for all wearing parts of their products.
Climate workshops are part of public services and should be set up in all districts and villages. They must be integrated as much as possible into the respective local communities, for example through cooperation with neighborhood or village associations, with schools, technical colleges and universities, with scout organizations etc. Many of their individual services (e.g. repair services) may come at some small costs (but without serving any profit interests). Nevertheless, it is clear that they need financial support from the public sector.
Climate workshops support households, municipalities, neighborhoods, special purpose associations, clubs, SMEs, etc. in ecological adaptation processes and in sustainable everyday life and habitat design. The efforts of people and various organizations are given a collective framework to support them and improve their efficiency. Climate workshops strengthen the relevant skills and ensure their rapid dissemination. At the same time, climate workshops are a focus project for new, sustainable forms of economic activity, e.g. the broad use of additive manufacturing (3-D printing) to promote the sustainable use of goods, machines and installations.
They can also act as a catalyst for a practice-based, sustainable reorientation of schools and other educational institutions by working closely with them.
It is estimated that 3000 Climate workshops will be required in Switzerland in a full implementation (for comparison: there are about 10'000 kindergartens and primary schools in Switzerland). If one estimates 7 jobs per workshop, this results in about 20,000 full-time jobs, which requires about CHF 2 billion per year. If the same amount is used for rooms, materials, machines, etc., the total cost is CHF 4 billion. With an estimated income from services of CHF 1 billion, this leaves CHF 3 billion annually, which must be provided by the public sector.
This funding requirement is to be financed primarily by a climate tax on financial assets (see Policy 9.9).
Climate workshops redesign everyday life and consumer behavior into a jointly borne task, during which many new forms of quality of life rapidly emerge. The creation of around 20,000 new jobs makes it possible to give many people a new professional perspective. At the same time, craft qualifications are supported and upgraded. For example, new career prospects can be opened up for employees in car repair shops. There are around 5200 car workshops in Switzerland, of which around 4000 garages with 39,000 employees are organized in the Swiss Association of Motor Trades and Crafts (AGVS).
The establishment of a sufficient number of climate workshops requires the efforts of a wide range of actors to be brought together. Those include existing institutions such as repair cafés, professional associations and trade unions, neighborhood associations, educational institutions, trade associations, local authorities, etc. If this succeeds, it will be possible to advance a new way of how everyday life is organized in the sense of a solidarity-based way of life. It is important that the experience gained during the construction process is continuously evaluated and that there is the political will to overcome obstacles and difficulties.
Massnahme 9.3: Arbeitszeitverkürzung (WTR)
Die Zahl der Vollzeit-Wochenarbeitsstunden wird bis 2030 schrittweise auf 24 Stunden pro Woche reduziert und die Arbeitswoche wird sofort auf vier Arbeitstage verkürzt. Wenn die Arbeitnehmer*innen für einen kürzeren Zeitraum arbeiten, kann der Output des gesamten Wirtschaftssystems erheblich reduziert werden und damit auch der Kohlenstoffausstoss. Die WTR ist auch eine entscheidende Massnahme, um die Produktivitätsgewinne der Wirtschaft auf die Arbeitnehmer*innen zu verteilen.
We aim for WTR in a post-growth economy, which allows us to reduce working hours while redistributing the work more evenly on the workforce, thus giving people jobs who may have lost a job during the transition to a decarbonized economy.
The number of full-time weekly working hours is gradually reduced from 41 hours (FSO 2020b) to e.g. 30 hours per week in the next 2 years, and to 24 hours per week until 2030. The working week is reduced to four working days (the standard week lasts from Monday to Thursday) immediately.
Working time reduction is a crucial measure to redistribute the productivity gains of the economy to the workers by compensating (fully or partially) less working time with higher wages, and to ensure that all workers have a secure working place in a post-growth economy (Kallis 2017)(Kallis 2017). Historically working time reduction has been a central demand of the labor movement and poses several impactful positive effects on the ecological, care-economical and the social realm.
An important policy goal of the WTR should be to set free time to enable people, households and communities to pursue non-paid (not commodified and potentially low carbon) activities and to regain autonomy over their immediate environment and community life. Hence WTR must actively ensure that the increasing leisure time is not used for more (and potentially high carbon) consumption (Kallis 2017; Gorz 1991). This will be achieved through the GHG pricing and the respective border adjustment (see Policy 1.2 and Policy 1.3).
Types of Working Time Reduction
A reduction in the hours a person works through their life can be achieved in several different ways. Not all measures are equally effective in terms of gender and social equality as well as ecology. Several of the presented measures can be combined. A shorter working week could be combined with a shorter workday. Often the amount of labor is measured in working hours per week or year. A WTR measure could also consist of a reduction in the total working hours per worker during a week, year or a whole life, which would make the current labor policies more flexible. A shorter working week has been a demand for a long time from different interest groups. A shorter working week could result in a three-day weekend for the whole population or workers could choose, on which days they work. Some of an enterprise’s workers could work from Monday to Thursday and the others from Tuesday to Friday.
A different approach would be to reduce the length of the workday. The standard eight-hour workday would be reduced to a shorter workday. There have been experiments in Swedish companies introducing a six-hour workday (De Spiegelaere and Piasna 2017).
Another measure could delay the entrance of the labor market by extending the period spent in education. Alternatively, the retirement age could be lowered. This reduces the overall working years of a person.
A lowering of the retirement age would counter the current trend increasing the retirement age (Finnish Centre for Pensions 2107). Workers could also have the possibility to take sabbaticals with the guarantee to return to their workplace after the sabbatical.
The WTR is financed through the tax on large assets which is in effect a redistribution of the productivity gains back to the workers (see Policy 9.9).
The positive impact of shorter working hours is the use of less energy and therefore carbon emissions. When workers do work for a shorter time period the output of the whole economic system can be substantially reduced. According to Nässén and Larsson (2015) a reduction of working hours to 21 hours would reduce carbon emissions by 41%. However, Nässén and Larsson (2015) do assume a parallel reduction of income which shall not be assumed since this goes contrary to the principle of climate justice. Its social compatibility will be further discussed in the respective section. On the other hand, more working hours translates into more consumption and studies report on a direct link between (very) long working hours and carbon-intensive consumption. The reverse is not necessarily true but depends on what happens with the freed leisure time (Dengler and Strunk 2018).
Working time reduction can have other positive effects. Continuing productivity gains will reduce wages to a lesser extent than working hours. Hence, people will work less with a partial compensation of wages. In other words, people will have more leisure time and can do all the things they normally do not have time for. Their purchasing power will also decrease, although to a lesser extent. Since the goal is not to spend more free time to consume more, a small reduction in purchasing power can be justified (with exception in low paid jobs where workers cannot afford any wage cut).
Some parts of the additional leisure time may be used for less carbon-intensive ways of commuting. Furthermore, carbon emissions of commuting will be reduced by 20% since workers only have to commute on four days per week.
A reduction of income with the same ratio through all income levels would be antisocial. Not all people contribute equally to the overall carbon emissions (Chitnis et al. 2014). The shortening of working hours poses a unique chance to create a more just society. While the average income needs to drop to ensure mitigation of carbon emissions, it can be done in a way that leaves a larger part of the cake to the working class. It is possible to extend the income of the working class, while reducing carbon emissions. This would require a redistribution of wealth from the wealthy, big-polluters to the lower-income classes of society. It is essentially a shift from capital to labor (Kallis et al. 2013) - a shortening of surplus labor. There exists a wide range of options to redistribute wealth: A maximum and a minimum wage should be introduced and the tax on large assets (Policy 9.9). These measures would reduce carbon emissions and fight income inequality at the same time.
WTR should avoid creating a "dual society" (Gorz 1991) of highly productive professional workers (whose high productivity can be translated into reduced working time with equal pay, e.g. people working in the banking and finance sector) and low-skilled low-pay jobs in the service industry (e.g. the care or gastronomy sectors). Rather, WTR should be designed to reduce the proliferation of low pay precarious service jobs by decreasing the demand for such jobs. A WTR policy will increase the effective wages in the care and service jobs sector (since less working hours will be at least partly compensated with higher wages). Moreover, the market for some service jobs will increase (care jobs) while for others it will decrease. Most of those exist because working people do not have enough leisure time to organize their lives in their free time (Gorz 1991).
Questions and Uncertainties
The choice of the right amount of WTR in hours per week cannot be calculated with technical precision. We cannot know how productivity will develop in a world with WTR. Any decision about the right amount of WTR is at least initially a political decision, not a technical one (Gorz 1991).
Massnahme 9.4 : Stärkung der Pflege
Die Pflege ist eine relativ kohlenstoffarme Wirtschaft und sollte einige der anderen (kohlenstoffintensiven) Sektoren in der Wirtschaft als wichtiger Arbeits- und Lohnmarkt ersetzen. Die Pflege (Betreuung von Kindern zu Hause und in Kinderkrippen/Kindergärten/Schulen, Betreuung älterer Menschen zu Hause oder in Altersheimen, Pflege kranker Menschen in Krankenhäusern) soll ausgebaut werden. Der Staat braucht Eltern für insgesamt bis zu 24 Monate Kinderbetreuung zu bezahlen. Die Stärkung der Pflege wird sich gesellschaftlich positiv auswirken, indem sie zur Gleichstellung der Geschlechter beiträgt
The care economy is a relatively low-carbon economy and should replace some of the other (carbon-intensive) sectors in the economy as an important job and wage-earning market.
The care economy (caring for children at home and in day-nurseries/Kindergartens/Schools, caring for elderly at home or in retirement homes, caring for sick people in hospitals) will be expanded and low-paid jobs or unpaid reproductive work at home will be paid good wages. Those who will want to work in the care economy will be given a job guarantee.
Childcare will be recognized as a full-time job, entitling each parent up to 12 months’ pay of a Swiss average salary by the state or, if they choose to work otherwise, free child care in a day-nursery. The state will thus pay in total up to 24 months of childcare. Single parents are entitled to 24 months of childcare.
Mothers and fathers can choose if they want to take care of their children and be paid by the state, or rely on free childcare and work in a job (paid by the employer). The time spent to reintegrate into the job market after giving birth (or for fathers after taking care of children at home) is compensated by the state at the amount of at least half the average Swiss salary, potentially more (it should not be less than the effective minimum wage and/or standard of living in Switzerland).
Higher wages in the care economy, more jobs in the care economy, and full recognition of reproductive care will incur costs on society through taxes on consumption of goods and services which will become more expensive. On the other hand, care services (day-nurseries, kindergartens, elderly care, health care) will become cheaper or free, compensating partly for higher costs of living.
Strengthening the care economy will have socially positive impacts by contributing to gender equality (Dengler and Strunk 2018), and environmentally positive impacts by contributing to less societal consumption of high-carbon goods and services (degrowth of carbon intensive goods and services) and to more consumption of care services (growth of low-carbon economic activities).
Socially and environmentally, paying higher wages and expanding the job market for care of children, elderly and sick will provide a strong labor market of low-carbon jobs that are needed to compensate for job reductions in the high-carbon labor markets that will shrink due to the CAP. Upgrading of jobs in the care economy and expanding it will contribute to less societal consumption of high-carbon goods and services as these will be taxed to finance the upgrade of jobs in the care economy.
A full recognition of reproductive care as part of normal economic activities will further reduce gender imbalances in present and future income. All sexes can be caretakers at home, entitled to full pay or compensation. In terms of climate mitigation, it will also contribute to less consumption overall since such a recognition will be financed through societal consumptive activities. This will help reduce the GHG footprint.
We expect only positive social effects.
Massnahme 9.5 : Stiftungen und Genossenschaften ersetzen Aktiengesellschaften
Die Rechtsform von Kapitalgesellschaften und Aktiengesellschaften neigt dazu, von Wachstum und Expansion auf Kosten der Natur abhängig zu sein. Deshalb sollten demokratisch geführte Stiftungen und Genossenschaften für neue und bestehende Unternehmen die relevanteren Rechtsformen werden.
The legal form of corporations and stock-companies depends on economic growth and on the externalization of environmental costs (Binswanger 2019). Corporations and especially listed stock-corporations are not only forced to generate revenue to satisfy their shareholders with dividend payments, but the basic interest of shareholders is growing share value, hence shareholders will push for economic growth. Typically, salary structures and management bonuses are linked to the share value and create further incentives to grow, whatever the societal costs may be. If shares of a company are traded on the stock exchange, there is constant pressure to maximize shareholder value. If management chooses to pursue other goals and forego some profit opportunities, they risk lowering the value of the shares. In this case, there is an incentive for investors to buy this company at a low price, change the management and maximize shareholder value again. This will increase the stock price again and the investors can sell the shares at a higher price and make a handsome profit (H.-C. Binswanger 2009).
Therefore, foundations and cooperatives should become much more widespread legal forms for new and existing companies. These legal forms are less under pressure to grow.
Legally, it is rather easy to become a cooperative. In general, cooperatives have easy access to debt capital. Unfortunately, the cooperative form is not well present in business research and in business news. The conditions, pros and cons of foundations and cooperatives have to become more widely discussed.
In order to foster foundations and cooperatives, and the conversion from stock and other corporations the following measures need to be taken: Establish an office of free legal advice in each language part of Switzerland for new foundations and cooperatives and conversions. Provide support for courses to establish business consulting and support the establishment of a national association that represents the interests in the public and political arenas. There are cooperative sectors such as renewable energy that need some financial and organizational support to professionalize.
Switzerland is a country with a long and deeply rooted tradition of cooperatives. This is a medium-term system change measure. Nevertheless, new frameworks and incentives should start immediately.
This could be done at low costs, and money that is spent on conventional business research, business development and location promotion could be redirected, hence the measure could be financially neutral.
As this is only one factor that makes our actual economy dependent on growth, we cannot expect wonders and it would be very difficult to quantify the impact.
This system change measure is consistent with the increase in social and non-profit enterprises and with the aim of younger people to engage in their daily work and not work in very hierarchical and top-down corporations.
This is supposed to affect society at large. All the pros and cons of a post-growth society apply.
Within the industry sector we propose three measures that trigger among others sufficiency: the moratorium for new buildings and infrastructure, the CO2-levy and this measure to slow down the inherent growth aspiration of corporations.
However, it is hard to predict how these measures initiate a system change into a more sustainable way our system works.
Massnahme 9.6: Ersetzung des BIP durch den Index für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDI)
Der SDI basiert auf fünf Indikatoren (Bildung, Lebenserwartung, Einkommen, CO2-Emissionen, materieller Fussabdruck). Die Schweiz gründet eine international ausgerichtete Stiftung zur Förderung des SDI und finanziert ihn mit jährlich 5 Millionen Franken.
Switzerland is playing a major role in the development and establishment of the Sustainable Development Index (SDI), as proposed by Jason Hickel (Hickel 2020). The SDI is based on five indicators (education, life expectancy, income, CO2 emissions, material footprint) to combine the strength of the Human Development Index with a focus on ecological sustainability, yielding an indicator of strong socio-ecological sustainability that measures nations’ ecological efficiency in delivering human development.
To this end, Switzerland is setting up an internationally oriented foundation and financing it with CHF 5 million annually. It invites all those institutions, organizations and public bodies to join in these efforts, provided that they are committed to the priority of the SDI over purely economic goals and measurement methods. The aim is to establish the new indicator as an internationally authoritative measure of quality of life and prosperity.
The gross domestic product (GDP) is a purely monetary quantity that is completely blind to ecological and social conditions. It encourages a dogmatic fixation on monetary economic growth. In addition, GDP ignores inactivity and its conditions as well as voluntary work, thus promoting the marginalization of the care economy. GDP also has a considerable tax impact. By definition, a recession occurs when GDP falls in two subsequent quarters. It is taken for granted that this is bad and should be prevented by all means.
By replacing GDP with an SDI-based indicator, we can finally start assessing the state of the economy in a more appropriate way, which should give tailwind to everyone interested in positive environmental change in the realization of the SDI-compatible economy.
The very fact that Switzerland is committed to the development of such a standard encourages debate and creates a global reference point for movements, NGOs and progressive politics.
Five million francs per year from the confederation's general financial resources.
Since the SDI also includes many social objectives, a social orientation of politics and economy is promoted.
Massnahme 9.7: Finanzierung der Anlaufphase eines Weltklimaforums
Ein basisdemokratisch gebildetes Weltklimaforum sollte auf globaler Ebene Lösungen für die Klimakrise finden. Der Bund muss seine dreijährige Anlaufphase mit 10 Millionen Franken pro Jahr finanzieren.
On a worldwide level, movements and forms of a transformational democracy are as needed as on local or regional levels. The globalization-critical movement had developed the form of the World Social Forums WSF. However, to avoid any splitting these Forums worked under the self-limitation of not taking decisions and calling for action. This limitation must be surmounted, even if there could be disagreements and even splits. But the emergency of global warming demands for global policies and global action.
A World Climate Forum must have a new start and should not be tracked by the still existing WSF It needs a fresh start, triggered by climate movements and movements for climate justice all over the world.
If a sufficiently representative group is formed that wishes to initiate a World Climate Forum, the confederation will contribute CHF 10 mio to the costs of the initial three-year phase. This applies regardless of the countries where the preparatory work and implementation take place.
This demand can also be addressed to other state bodies (like cities or cantons).
The costs may be CHF 10 mio per year, financed by the federation.
Global movements and global forms of transformational democracy are absolutely crucial for a successful climate policy. We can deal with the climate crisis only on a global level. A powerful World Climate Forum could become a decisive means of organizing and empowering such global movements.
We see no problems.
Massnahme 9.8: Neues Konzept der Eigentumsverhältnisse
Privateigentum ist nur dann erlaubt, wenn es der Allgemeinheit keinen Schaden zufügt, insbesondere was die Umweltzerstörung betrifft. Privateigentum von gesellschaftlicher Relevanz muss der Allgemeinheit zugänglich gemacht werden.
A new concept of ownership should be established, according to which 1) private property of social relevance may only be used to the extent that it does not cause any damage to the general public, in particular with regard to environmental protection and climate warming, and 2) private property of social relevance must be made available to the general public if this is necessary from a superordinate perspective (e.g. because of urgent ecological and social concerns) (e.g. house roofs that must be made usable for solar energy use).
Massnahme 9.9: Klimaschutzsteuer auf Grossvermögen und Kontrolle des Kapitals.
Auf alle Vermögensanteile über einer Million Franken pro Haushalt wird eine Klima-Vermögenssteuer von 20% erhoben. Ausgenommen sind selbstgenutztes Eigentum und Sachwerte, die im täglichen Gebrauch sind. Die Hälfte der Einnahmen aus dieser Steuer soll in den Ländern des globalen Südens für Klimaschutzprojekte verwendet werden. Die andere Hälfte soll für klimapolitische Massnahmen in der Schweiz verwendet werden.
As mentioned above, redistributing quite an important part of the fortunes accumulated within the last decades in the hands of a very small minority of ultra-rich people is not just a question of justice, but an indispensable task for assuring the material bases for a powerful democracy and an effective climate policy. One concrete measure to do so is a tax on large financial assets.
The confederation levies a climate asset tax of 20% on all asset shares above one million francs per household. This does not include owner-occupied property and tangible assets that are in daily use. Half of the revenue from this tax is to be used in the countries of the Global South for climate protection projects, e.g. sustainable energy supply, and prevent damage attributable to climate change. The other half will be used for climate policy measures in Switzerland.
In order to prevent the tax from being evaded, the time for the collection of the relevant assets is set in such a way that no deduction of assets abroad is possible and a capital movement control is introduced to prevent the subsequent deduction of taxable assets. Banking secrecy must also be completely lifted with respect to the tax authorities in Switzerland.
The demanded taxes provide the federation with the necessary financial resources to be able to pursue an effective climate policy both within the country and on a global level. Financial burdens, on the other hand, are very limited and minimal in comparison to the revenue (new federal staff required in the tax area).
The tax provides a socially responsible fundraising for climate policy, especially for the balancing of resources in favor of the Global South.
A climate asset tax is a central component of climate justice. It taps social wealth where it has been increasingly concentrated in recent decades. It takes into account the fact that both global warming and the growing inequality in wealth distribution have increased massively over the same period. The tax also increases the acceptance of many other measures such as incentive levies urging the population to change everyday habits and consumption patterns, and partially resigning from especially harmful consumption (like flying, driving SUVs or eating a steak every day).
It is necessary to examine which form of collection is appropriate to ensure that the tax is levied in such a way as to maximize the yield of the tax without creating negative side effects. Two possible variants are:
- A one-off levy. In order to prevent taxpayers from having to sell all of their securities in large quantities during the same period, which could cause their prices to fall significantly, a transfer of securities is negotiated with the tax authorities. All assets must be disclosed to the authorities and a bundle of securities must be transferred to the confederation with the same level of risk as the total assets.
- An annual tax of, for example, 2% of the assets for 10 years. In this variant, it is particularly important to use capital controls to prevent taxable capital shares being created outside the country.
Massnahme 9.10: Abschaffung der Pauschalbesteuerung
Die Pauschalbesteuerung wird abgeschafft. Diese Regelung kam einigen tausend Reichen durch Massenabzüge zugute. Diese Politik wird keine direkten Auswirkungen auf die Treibhausgasemissionen haben, aber wichtige Konsequenzen für den Aspekt der Klimagerechtigkeit
Switzerland is well placed to meet the challenges presented by the rapid decarbonization of the economy. Thanks to the large GDP, Switzerland can afford to have the 13th highest per-capita government spending among OECD countries (OECD 2020), maintaining a low tax pressure on citizens and businesses operating in the country (FDFA 2020). However, the financial virtuosity of Switzerland is partly based on its status as a tax haven. In particular Switzerland used to offer advantageous terms to foreign corporations, and because of that Switzerland was placed on the grey list of the European Union. This changed with the tax reform, the approved in May 2019 (FDF 2020a), that resulted in the removal of Switzerland from the EU’s grey list (European Commission 2020). However, Switzerland continues to have a reduced taxation regime for foreign wealthy individuals. In 2018, 4557 people profited from the lump-sum taxation and paid a total of 821 million CHF. While some cantons abolished this tax, so far the Federal Council rejected the abolition of expenditure-based taxation for economic reasons (FDF 2020b). We therefore propose the abolition of the lump-sum taxation on the federal level.
Assuming the worst-case scenario in which all beneficiaries of the lump-sum taxation will move their fiscal residence abroad, the abolishment of the sum-lump tax will result in ~CHF 800 mio of missing revenues each year.
This policy will not have a direct impact on GHG emissions but has important consequences for regarding the aspect of climate justice. The money collected by this measure will be used to fund climate friendly projects and mitigation measures.
Historically, the Swiss fiscal regime contributed to international tax avoidance, and to increased profits for foreign corporations and wealthy individuals with fiscal residence in the country. Switzerland benefited from additional fiscal revenues that are not available to other countries, these resources would be extremely valuable to finance environmental and social public investments in other countries. The abolition of tax havens and international tax avoidance is an important goal to ensure climate justice.
Individuals benefiting from lump-sum taxation might move their fiscal residence to other fiscal havens, however this is not a reason not to implement this policy.
Massnahme 9.11: Klimadelegierte des Bundesrates und Überwachung der Fortschritte in der Klimaschutzpolitik
Eine Delegation wird die klimapolitischen Projekte von Bund, Kantonen und Gemeinden koordinieren, einen regen Austausch mit NGOs und den Klimabewegungen pflegen, ein Monitoring erstellen und einen Jahresbericht verfassen. Jedes Jahr beruft die Delegation eine Konferenz ein, um die Fortschritte in der Klimapolitik zu diskutieren.
The institution of a climate policy delegate of the Federal Council is created. The delegate will coordinate the climate policy projects of the confederation, cantons and municipalities, maintain a lively exchange with NGOs and climate movements, create a monitoring process and draw up an annual report.
The delegate must have a strong and independent position, comparable to the position of the Swiss National Bank. This person of course needs a strong and competent staff and open insight in all data of any importance to GHG-reduction and climate justice.
Each year, the delegate convenes a conference to discuss progress in climate policy. Invited to the conference are representatives from politics, authorities and associations as well as from the Climate Councils. The conference discusses measures to keep Switzerland on track with regard to climate targets. The outcome might be appropriate recommendations.
Usual federal budget.
The implementation of a climate policy as outlined in the Climate Action Plan must be conceived as an ongoing process which needs monitoring and measures to ensure its implementation.
First of all, it is necessary to establish a whole set of measurements, of a Climate Action Plan. This must be done through political processes in combination with a broad mobilization of the population as described above (for instance in the form of climate councils).
Second, we need firm action to assure the necessary progress of actions. A climate delegate must coordinate and focalize this process.
The delegate is unlikely to have much effect on its own. However, in combination with a strong climate movement and corresponding pressure on policymakers, such an institution can make a significant contribution to ensuring that this pressure is systematically translated into an appropriately effective climate policy.
Massnahme 9.12: Demokratische Rechte für alle Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner der Schweiz
Die Schweiz führt alle demokratischen Rechte für nicht-schweizerische Bürger*inne ein, die seit mindestens fünf Jahren in der Schweiz ansässig sind. Die grossen Herausforderungen, die der Klimawandel mit sich bringt, betreffen alle. Deshalb sollen alle an der Entscheidungsfindung teilhaben können.
Switzerland is introducing all democratic rights for non-Swiss citizens who have been resident in Switzerland for at least five years. The major challenges posed by climate change are increasingly affecting everyone. It is therefore all the more urgent that all those affected be given full democratic participation rights.
At the end of 2019, 2,111,412 people with foreign passports were living in Switzerland. 1,376,575 of them had a C settlement permit entitling them to unlimited residence in Switzerland and 713,911 people had a B residence permit valid for 5 years (EU/EFTA countries) or one year (all other countries). Residence permits are usually renewed. For both categories, it can be assumed that these people are living in Switzerland for a longer period or permanently. People with a foreign passport and a long-term or permanent permit account for around 24.5% of the total resident population. The importance of extending democratic rights to this part of the population is correspondingly high, especially in such a great political transition as the one that will be needed in Switzerland to reach net 0 GHG emissions by 2030.
Massnahme 9.13: Demokratische Rechte für alle ab 14 Jahren
Die Schweiz führt das aktive und passive Wahlrecht für alle Personen ab 14 Jahren ein. Die Klimakrise betrifft vor allem die jüngeren Generationen. Es ist deshalb mehr als gerechtfertigt, diesen Generationen volle demokratische Rechte zu gewähren.
Switzerland introduces the right to vote and stand for election for all people who have reached the age of 14.
Global warming particularly affects the younger generations. It is therefore more than justified to grant this generation full democratic rights, as the Canton of Glarus has done since 2007. The proportion of 14 to17-year-olds in the resident population is just over 80,000. Around 320,000 people would therefore benefit from such an extension of democratic rights (in combination with voting and election rights for non-Swiss).
Kapitel 10: Internationale Zusammenarbeit und Klimafinanzierung
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 10.1: Die Schweiz trägt jedes Jahr 1 Milliarde CHF zur Klimafinanzierung bei
Die Schweiz trägt jedes Jahr 1 Milliarde Franken zur Klimafinanzierung bei. Die verfügbaren Mittel werden an Institutionen, Fonds oder Programme zur Finanzierung von Massnahmen in Zielländern überwiesen. Die Gelder werden durch Steuern, Sanktionen, Abgaben, freiwillige Beiträge usw. aufgebracht oder generiert.
Collection of Funds
The mobilized funds are pooled and prepared for payments or transfers (treasury, fund, program, foundation, etc.).
The available funds are transferred to institutions, funds or programs to finance measures in the target countries (e.g. Green Climate Fund, direct investments in countries through bilateral [SDC/SECO/FOEN] or multilateral [World Bank or similar] development cooperation, etc.).
Use of Funds
The funds are invested in various projects, regions and sectors (e.g. in particularly poor developing countries or in island states, for mitigation or adaptation, etc.)
The Alliance Sud position paper "Climate justice and international climate financing from a development policy perspective" (Alliance Sud 2019) explores the link between climate and development tasks and proposes concrete solutions as to how CHF 1 bn can be mobilized annually in addition to development cooperation to support climate measures in developing countries in a way that is fair to the polluter.
Money is mobilized or generated through taxes, sanctions, levies, voluntary contributions, etc.
Massnahme 10.2: Keine Externalisierung von THG-Emissionen
Die Schweiz externalisiert die notwendige Reduktion der Treibhausgasemissionen nicht durch den Kauf von International übertragbaren Reduktionsergebnissen (ITMO) und/oder "Kompensationen" im Ausland.
According to the Federal Council and Parliament, only three-fifths of the desired halving of Switzerland's domestic emissions by 2030 will actually take place here at home. Switzerland, like a handful of other rich countries, wishes to "offset" the remainder by purchasing ITMOs. Switzerland is therefore a leading advocate for the early conclusion of the arrangements on offsets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
It seems appealing at first glance to offset emissions abroad, for it is cheaper, at least for now. A second look however raises the question of why increasing amounts should be spent each year to buy foreign emission reduction certificates whose additionality is questionable and cannot be guaranteed, instead of those millions being used locally to convert domestic structures to emission-free technologies and practices. It is simple logic that the strategy of outsourcing is destined to fail over the short or long term. Because all countries must reduce their emissions to net zero, foreign emission certificates will quickly become scarce. At the same time, demand will rise, and hence prices will increase accordingly. After the low-hanging fruit have been picked, there will soon be no more countries prepared to cheaply sell off the increasingly hard-won progress they have made towards climate neutrality. Switzerland will thus no longer be able to avoid having to eliminate its own emissions, and this irrespective of whether we have already paid for reductions abroad, that largely exist on paper only and contribute in actuality to less reductions than is officially declared and certified, if any at all.
Questions and Uncertainties
In order to ensure that offsets reflect credible emission reductions, the following key conditions would need to be met:
- Additionality, i.e. the activity generating the offset cannot be business as usual
- Conservative baseline: the aggregation of all country baselines that determine the volume of offsets needs to be consistent with a 1.5 °C mitigation pathway
- International oversight of offset creation needs to be assured. Non-controlled voluntary markets shall not be able to generate offsets.
However, currently none of these conditions are met and it is beyond the power of the Swiss state to decide upon these issues solely. Offsetting emissions is therefore no option at the moment.
Massnahme 10.3: New Interpretation of International Trade Agreements
Die Schweiz erklärt, dass das Respektieren der Menschenrechte und von internationalen Klimaabkommen einen klaren Vorrang gegenüber anderer internationaler Abkommen, insbesondere Handelsabkommen, hat. Im Zweifelsfall soll die Umsetzung von Bestimmungen in Handelsabkommen ausgesetzt werden.
Switzerland declares that the respect for human rights and international agreements on climate protection clearly take precedence over the provisions of other international treaties, particularly trade agreements. In case of doubt, it suspends the application of provisions in trade agreements if they make it impossible to achieve the climate agreements and/or are contrary to human rights, and it refrains from demanding compliance with such provisions from other countries and therefore from resorting to arbitration. This applies, for example, to investor-state dispute settlement agreements that grant non-governmental arbitration tribunals the power to decide on national laws to protect the climate and achieve climate justice.
With this policy, Switzerland is providing the international impetus for this. As the location of many UN bodies and as an international trading power, Switzerland can use this policy to quickly and effectively set international policy in motion.
Each concrete case would then have its specific impact. Example: Subsidies for solar power installations produced within Switzerland could be important to build up competences and capacities within Switzerland. Such subsidies could be interpreted as a violation to WTO-rules asking for equality of treatment. Other example: Switzerland bans certain products for their inbuilt obsolescence. If these products are only imported, this could again be interpreted as a violation of equality of treatment.
If there are any financing effects, they depend on each concrete case.
Again, effects depend on each concrete case. Should for instance a border tax adjustment
be brought to an arbitration tribunal, effects would be completely different from a case concerning product-based rules.
The policy can create conflicts with other countries or with the institutions linked to trade agreements. But if we seriously want to reduce GHG-emissions, such conflicts cannot be avoided. Instead, movements, NGOs and public entities must offensively make clear that human rights and climate protection agreements must be given priority over trade agreements. They must fight together on an international level for such a policy change.
Massnahme 10.4: Priorisierung von Menschenrechten, Friedenssicherung, Klimaschutz und Klimagerechtigkeit im Völkerrecht
Bei der UNO schlägt die Schweiz die Schaffung einer klaren Prioritätenordnung vor. Dabei sollen Abkommen zu Völkerrecht, Menschenrechten, Friedenssicherung, Klimaschutz und Gerechtigkeit Vorrang gegenüber allen anderen internationalen Verträgen, insbesondere Handelsabkommen, erhalten. So werden Bestimmungen in internationalen Abkommen, die diesen prioritären Abkommen widersprechen, ausgesetzt. Verstösse gegen das Vorrangrecht sollten auch sanktionierbar sein. Es wird ein Büro eingerichtet, um Verbündete für dieses Vorhaben zu gewinnen.
Within the UN framework, Switzerland proposes the creation of a clear order of priorities. In this context, agreements on international law, human rights, peacekeeping, climate protection and justice should be given priority over all other international treaties, particularly trade agreements. Thus, provisions in international agreements that contradict these priority agreements are suspended. Violations of the priority law should also be sanctionable.
Switzerland is setting up a coordination office in order to win over as many partners as possible at all levels for such a project and is making available an annual sum of CHF 5 million for this purpose. Partners should not only be states, but also NGOs, social movements, municipalities and so on.
This policy can focus on the will of the international community to make decisive progress in climate protection, justice in the media and human rights and to create clarity about the order of priorities in international treaties.
A resolute initiative by Switzerland for a global constitutional law alone will bring movement to global politics and make it possible to bring new alliances into play.
Five million francs per year from the confederation's general financial resources.
The combination of human rights and climate policy promotes the orientation towards global climate justice and social compatibility of climate policy.
Massnahme 10.5: Nichtverbreitungsvertrag für fossile Brennstoffe (FF-NPT)
Das Ziel des FF-NPT ist es, fossile Brennstoffe durch einen globalen rechtsverbindlichen Vertrag auslaufen zu lassen. Die Schweiz übernimmt bei den Verhandlungen und deren Umsetzung eine führende Rolle.
The idea behind the FF-NPT is simple: Its goal is to phase out fossil fuels through a legally binding treaty. As outlined by Newell and Simms (2020) the FF-NPT would contain three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament and the promotion of peaceful use of technology. ‘Non-proliferation’ refers to the prevention of exploitation of new fossil fuel resources. ‘Disarmament’ means the coordinated, managed and accelerated decline of existing fossil fuel infrastructure. For the third pillar Newell and Simms (2020, 1047) suggest to massively expand “existing initiatives to provide poorer countries with access to low carbon and non-fossil-fuel clean energy and transport, and the technology needed for its development.” To finance these projects, they propose to reuse former fossil fuel subsidies.
The FF-NPT is based on the existing example of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons which was negotiated in the middle of the Cold War. The big difference to the Paris Agreement is it being legally binding with member states having the tool to impose economic sanctions on a party violating the treaty.
The role of Switzerland would be to bring this up in international climate negotiations and to take up a leading role in the negotiations, however, the UN needs to be the neutral party organizing the negotiation rounds. In a first step, the state of Switzerland gets in contact with the steering committee behind the FF-NPT and further explores how such a treaty can be implemented.
The authors propose for financing the third pillar that “[f]unds could be redirected from fossil fuel subsidies which make up the equivalent of 6.5% of global GDP, as well as generated through a global carbon tax and potentially held in [a] Global Transition Fund” (Newell and Simms 2020, 1047).
In the long-term the treaty will lead to the phase out of all fossil fuels on a global scale.
The central aspect of the second and third pillar are to ensure a just transition of the phase out of fossil fuels which includes a massive expansion of renewable energy sources in particular in the Global South.
It is quite unlikely that a NPT for fossil fuels can be brokered as easily as the one for a nuclear NPT because of the much greater importance of fossil fuels in the economic system.
Kapitel 11: Bildung
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 11.1: Bildung über die Klimakrise
Bildung über die Klimakrise soll zum Kernelement unseres Bildungssystems werden.
Climate Change Education has to get a focal point at all school levels. In compulsory schooling the ESD has to be improved and enlarged. Additionally, climate change education must be included in the ‘Rahmenlehrplan’ (outline curriculum) as a core element of high school education. The ‘Rahmenlehrplan’ will shortly be revised nationally by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) (Schweizerische Konferenz der kantonalen Erziehungsdirektoren 2020). The climate change education should be oriented towards the UNESCO learning goals in order to guarantee that not only knowledge but also competence is imparted (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 2020).
ESD will most likely be included in the ‘Rahmenlehrplan’. However, it is crucial that sustainability is understood in the strong perspective and that the focus lies on competence development and not only knowledge transfer. The revision of the ‘Rahmenlehrplan’ will be finished in autumn 2022. Cantons will start redefining their regional or local curricula parallel to the EDK process. The new ‘Rahmenlehrplan’ will be implemented in schools in 2023. It is very important that experts on climate change and sustainable development are involved and can have influence in the essential processes of the development of the new ‘Rahmenlehrplan’.
This measure ensures that climate change education must be a focal point at all school levels. In this way, all students will acquire the competence to understand sustainability in a strong perspective and can make decisions according to this knowledge.
- Is there a chance to get climate change education as a separate theme/topic into the ‘Rahmenlehrplan’ or will it be included in ESD?
- how to get influence in the process? It will be important to find out whether sustainability will be a theme (in geography or economy) or a cross-curricular dimension. If it will be cross-curricular, it is important to ensure all subject teachers understand what climate change education / ESD is about.
Massnahme 11.2: Nationales Fortbildungsprogramm für Lehrepersonen
Obligatorisches Weiterbildungsprogramm zum Thema Klimakrise für Lehrpersonen. Dieses Programm richtet sich an Lehrpersonen, die bereits unterrichten. Der Inhalt dieser Fortbildungskurse sollte sich an den UNESCO-Zielen der Klimabildung orientieren. Es garantiert, dass die Lehrer*innen das Thema verstehen und in der Lage sind, ihr Wissen an ihre Schüler*innen weiterzugeben.
A compulsory national continuing education program on climate change education for teachers will be introduced. This program is aimed particularly at teachers already teaching, and not only at teachers in training. These further training courses are coordinated nationally but are implemented locally at the schools with smaller teams of teachers. The content of these training courses should be based on the UNESCO goals of the climate change education program and guarantee that the teachers understand the topic and are able to pass on their knowledge to their students using suitable teaching methods.
All teachers themselves have the competence to understand the climate crisis and to act on this knowledge. They can successfully pass this competence on to their students using suitable teaching methods. In this way, the steps laid down in the curriculum (Policy 11.1) can actually be implemented.
Massnahme 11.3: Nationale Klima-Aktionswoche
Die "Nationale Klima-Aktionswoche" ist eine gesamtschweizerische Projektwoche, die an Schulen und Universitäten stattfindet. Die Woche wird von Bund und den Kantonen durchgeführt. Während dieser erlebnisorientierten Woche setzen sich alle teilnehmenden Schüler*innen mit Themen rund um klimatische und ökologische Veränderungen auseinander.
The proposed ‘National Climate Action Week’ is intended to be an event taking place throughout Switzerland at schools and universities. During this experience-oriented week, all participating pupils and students deal with topics related to climatic and ecological changes. The Climate Action Week is intended to reach children and adolescents of all school levels regardless of their family background. The content can depend on school level and ranges from basic to background knowledge about the topic of climate change and its connection to personal and general energy and resource consumption. Topics can be taken from local or actual issues. In this way, the Climate Action Week addresses the gaps in knowledge formulated in the status quo and thus contributes to a comprehensive knowledge base and development of climate relevant competences, so that society as a whole can achieve responsible use of the environment.
In the current education system, the National Climate Action Week needs to be provided to the schools by the federal government and cantons via the conference of cantonal ministers of education. The already established and widespread structure of project-weeks can be used easily when appropriate material is available. This facilitates the preparation and implementation of the National Climate Action Week for teachers with the optional support of governmental and non-governmental climate protection organizations.
A proposed first step is the creation of a well-arranged platform with the availability or accessibility of the already existing environmental education material. Then, this is communicated in the cantonal and national education networks. This platform could configure education21 as an existing and functioning organization that distributes and funds environmental education nationwide.
A further step is to launch a compulsory and simultaneous National Climate Action Week for all school types. This increases the national attention for the project and thereby helps developing a general change in our society towards sustainable thinking and acting as well as towards competence- and value-oriented learning.
Several climate protection organizations already offer elements of whole day or week programs. The focus of Climate Action Weeks will be to build up and promote climate-relevant competences among pupils and students. It can include art or theatre methods and represent new types of cultural environmental education. It is not a question of reinventing the wheel, but of using existing innovative extra-curricular environmental education. It should be offered in a transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary manner and be accessible to everyone. The integration in the formal educational structure should be seen as multiple empowerments of the pupils as well as the teachers, school administrators and other educational actors towards a prioritization of climate-relevant issues.
The instrument of a project-week is already established in most schools around the country with specific financing practices. It should be possible for every school either to organize a self-directed Climate Action Week or to benefit from the expertise of governmental and non-governmental climate protection organizations - both with low costs. The financing of project-weeks with experts has to be provided by the State, the cantons and the schools, possibly supported by power supply and waste management companies.
The National Climate Action Week has an indirect impact on the climate and covers questions on climate change and energy supply as well as resource consumption on a personal, family and social level. The participants carry their findings home to their friends and families, in private and in public. They spread their beliefs, knowledge, skills and visions in socially relevant structures as well as in the media. Thereby, the National Climate Action Week contributes to a broad awareness process. It also supports teachers to implement competence-based learning towards participation and a sense of responsibility for yourself, the community and the environment.
Massnahme 11.4: Klimabildung auf lokaler Ebene
Bestehende soziale Strukturen (wie lokale Netzwerke, NGOs, Klima-Versammlungen) sollen für die Organisation von Klimabildungsprojekten und Veranstaltungen genutzt werden. Ziel ist es, Wissen und Fähigkeiten auf einer persönlicheren Ebene an alle Menschen weiterzugeben. Der Staat sorgt für den Start dieser Projekte
The government should initiate local climate education projects open to the public. The aim is to reach people outside of the education system. The people should be able to understand their part in the solution and willing to take action. These local projects should be planned together with experts.
There are already existing platforms which can be used to initiate education projects like local commissions or NGOs. Numerous organizations are already specialized in climate education. Their services can be used for these projects and the State should support these structures. Also, “Climate Assemblies” could be used as a platform to inform people about these kinds of projects and to share the theoretical base useful to the projects.
The Swiss government can relay this to cantons, municipalities and cities on the basis of best practice. As it is not too difficult to adjust the programs, this policy should be implemented in 2021.
The existing projects only function owing to a lot of volunteer work and therefore usually cannot exploit their full potential, as a survey by the ‘Energieforschung Zürich’ in 2018 showed (Moser et al. 2018). It would be desirable to have sufficient partial financing from the federal government with the participation of the municipalities and cities. Similar models already exist in other areas (spatial development, energy (Energie Schweiz 2020) or migration).
The promotion of assemblies does not cost a lot, but it would be advantageous to help organizing the events by financing publications and advertising for mobilization.
Education on the climate crisis will be integrated into established structures (youth centers/community centers). It gives the topic additional importance and enables participatory education. In addition, knowledge and skills can be imparted on a more personal level and together with familiar people.
The measures of Assemblies as well in the Public-Private Partnership as in the institutional way give a huge flow of Information; the climate subject comes in the first row and in the center of the political discussion, not only as an incidental theme. Because of the binding character of the institution, it will be of interest for the media too.
Local projects show opportunities for action by making impactful projects and initiatives in their own region visible and pointing out climate-friendly ways of consumption. Networking among the projects and initiatives is also encouraged. People, who would like to get involved are activated, for example, through a future conference. In the next step, project groups tackle concrete challenges.
Acting together has an integrating effect. Additional social groups within society can be empowered to work for the common good. This addresses the increasing social segregation. The question of how poorly integrated minorities could be reached through such projects deserves special attention. Specially funded projects with scientific support would be conceivable here. Climate Assemblies and local projects in general should be available and open for everyone.
It is uncertain who (if anyone) can impose compulsory programs/recommendations on community and youth centers.
Massnahme 11.5: Informationskampagne der Regierung
Staatliche Organisationen wie das BAFU, MeteoSchweiz etc. informieren die Bevölkerung über die Klimakrise. Eine staatliche Informationskampagne informiert über die benötigten Massnahmen für netto null bis 2030. Die Kampagne regt entsprechende Verhaltensweisen, Fähigkeiten und Denkweisen an.
With an information campaign, the government and governmental organizations like FOEN, MeteoSwiss, National Centre for Climate Studies etc. are informing the population about the climate crisis, the need for action and stimulate corresponding behavior, skills and mindsets. The solution outlined is intended to be no less effective than the Climate Action Plan and aims to reduce Swiss net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030.
The campaign is intended to make people understand that we need change if we want to maintain our quality of life in the future. It is intended to show the population in a positive way what the necessary changes mean for them and what enrichments they offer to the individual citizen. In addition to general facts, the ability to act should also be conveyed. In its implementation, the confederation is guided by the findings of educational research.
This measure is to be implemented primarily nationally but also on a cantonal level and locally. The campaign is to be launched immediately, as education is the basis for many other changes and enables a rapid reduction of unnecessary emissions.
It is assumed that the information campaign can be financed from the existing federal campaign budget.
The authors expect the information campaign to have an awakening effect. The information campaign would underline the importance of the problem and improve the level of knowledge and willingness to act in similar ways as the COVID-19 info campaign of the Federal Office of Public Health did. This would enable a well-founded social debate on how to solve the climate crisis. It would also encourage people to take the initiative and look for solutions in their own environment. It would reach a large number of people, thus creating a social dynamic. Measures that would be issued by the federal government would now meet with understanding rather than resistance.
Massnahme 11.6: Die Presse soll die Realität der Probleme widerspiegeln
Die Medien sollten Meinungen und wissenschaftliche Fakten entsprechend kennzeichnen. Die Themen sollen sich nicht reaktiv an sensationellen Ereignissen orientieren. Stattdessen tragen Debatte in den Medien über Lösungen der Klimakrise einem konstruktiven politischen Prozess bei.
Media can help avert a climate catastrophe through creating scientifically substantiated content that reflects the reality of problems. The treatment of the topic should not be reactively orientated towards sensational single events, but should be constructively involved in the political process through a debate on solutions for the crisis. As the fourth power, the media must not limit itself to exposing grievances and naming problems, but should furthermore encourage a social debate in a solution-oriented way to actually improve life. The urgency of the situation must be duly considered. Media should label opinions and scientific facts/estimates accordingly. This policy should be implemented beginning today. Press Council has the controlling function and is responsible for ensuring that the Code of Conduct for Journalists is observed. This code contains the ethical principles for professional journalistic writing. In addition to this code of journalism, there is also the government mandate for SRG/SSR to provide balanced reporting. Furthermore, an independent institution should install a monitoring with a periodical reporting on how the media follow the ethical code.
As the fourth power, the media have a great influence in our society. Especially in the area of education, the media have a great responsibility. Many people who are no longer part of the education system are largely educated by the media. If they trust in the responsibility of the media in relation to the climate crisis, it will be much easier to impart knowledge to the general population outside of educational institutions.
Massnahme 11.7: Berater*innen für Umweltbewusstsein
Jede Schweizer Firma muss Berater*innen für ökologisches Bewusstsein haben. Diese Person organisiert Schulungen zum Thema Klimakrise für die Mitarbeiter*innen.
With this policy we introduce the role of a counsellor in every Swiss firm. Depending on the size of the company, this role would be taken up by one or more people, who are responsible for the organization of educative training on climate change, stimulating an ongoing discussion on the topic, and to foster the awareness about sustainable behavior.
As the following two policies talk about education in the industry and are in relation to the Industry and Buildings and spatial planning section of this document, the work of the counsellor as well as the environmental training (see policy 11.8) should be based on policies of the chapter Industry and Service Sector as well as policies of the chapter Buildings and Spatial Development. This means that the counsellor should be aware of the measures provided by these policies and should be involved in these projects. They should especially work with those contents that are nearest to the work practice of the employees and can be easily applied by the employees.
In the best case, the counsellor is someone who already works at the company and is interested in taking action for the climate. If the company is not able to find people to take up this role or if none of their current employees has the capacity to do so, the company should employ someone external to take up the role of counsellor. However, the counsellor has to be familiar with company’ products, its processes, and, if possible, its employees. They would need to be given access to all the necessary information about the company and their working method to carry out the task of a counsellor.
The counsellor is responsible for the constant maintenance of climate awareness in the company. First of all, they are responsible for the organization of the environmental training for the employees (see policy 11.8). The counsellor has to make sure that these training sessions are held.
The goal is that all the employees are permanently reminded of the contents of the training they participated in. Sustainable behavior in the workplace as well as in their personal life should be frequently discussed and renewed bringing up new ideas and inputs. This can be achieved with the organization of small discussions or gatherings, the holding of further training with renewed contents or any other ideas and initiatives the counsellor or the employees themselves come up with.
The counsellor should make sure that both the discussion about the ecological behavior of the company as well as about the private behavior of the individual employees is kept alive. The employees should be informed about the actions their company takes to improve their ecological footprint. They should be encouraged to contribute ideas about how resource management and the company's processes can be improved and they should be informed about the company's goals in this area.
A platform should be created for the exchange of the counsellors. It should help the counsellors to connect with each other and discuss the content and form of their consulting. It should allow them to generate new inputs and ideas, and help them with the solution of occurring problems. This platform should exist online, but there should also be the possibility to meet in person.
As the counsellor is employed by the company, it is primarily the company who pays for them. If the company is struggling to come up with the necessary funds, there could be government subsidies for those companies (particularly smaller companies).
Thanks to the counsellor, the awareness of the climate crisis is to be increased, constantly brought to mind and discussed with others. Employees will be educated and hopefully their behavior will become more sustainable. They will find a space to bring in their own opinions and ideas. Through the discussion of their own company’s sustainability, they will become aware of the ecological impact of the company they work for. In the best case, they will act on that awareness and push their employer to act in a more sustainable way.
Here it is also debatable if this policy is necessary for every form and size of a company, or if the compulsory training (see Policy: environmental training) is already sufficient. However, the role of the counsellor can of course always be adapted for the individual company, in means of the hours of work they invest or the measures they take.
For further discussions, see questions and uncertainties of the policy environmental training.
A big question that poses itself is if there can be found a motivated person in every company, and of course as the task of the counsellor will be interpreted individually, it is hard to say if it will be received well by all the employees.
Massnahme 11.8: Umweltschulung für alle Angestellten und Lernende
Beschäftigte und Lernende sollten an Umweltschulungen teilnehmen. Diese werden von den Berater*innen organisiert und von Expert*innen durchgeführt. Die Schulung sollte praxis-bezogen und mit dem Arbeitsfeld der Mitarbeitenden verbunden sein. Sie soll den Arbeitnehmer*innen helfen, die Emissionen ihres Unternehmens zu reduzieren.
Environmental training for all the employees and apprentices should be held. It is organized by the counsellor and held by an expert or different group of experts. The training should be based and connected to the employee’s field of work. Part of the training should be tailored for different professions and different kinds of employees.
Therefore, the training should be structured in three modules.
- The first module: basic facts, background of the climate crisis should provide the employees information on the basics and facts about the climate crisis.
- The second module: private behavior change should give an overview of the behavior changes that individuals can make in their everyday personal life, highlighting for example the big negative impact some products have on the environment and suggesting alternatives.
- The third module: impact of the professional life should raise awareness on the environmental impact of the company, what it can do to improve the situation, and what the employees can do while carrying out their specific tasks to contribute.
Although those contents should be known to everyone, the lectures should still be adapted to different audiences and consider their educational background and their existing awareness about climate issues.
The training could contain topics including:
- Science: Scientific data on climate change and forecasts
- Mobility: Information about emissions and pollution caused by the main means of transport.
- Clothing: Information of the ecological impact of the fashion industry (especially fast fashion).
- Food: information about the environmental impact of some products, as well as solutions to this problem.
- Investments: Information about investments of the financial community, especially in fossil fuels.
- Getting active: The counsellor should provide the participants with a list of useful links and organizations they can join if they wish to get more active.
The way of educating the employees should not only be giving them tips and lots of information but also giving them the chance to think for themselves and to come up with their own ideas and solutions. Through that, their motivation to actually use the tips and to act on them will increase. For example, it should be asked in the lectures: What can you do to reduce your daily waste at work? Or: How can you save more energy at home? etc. The training should be structured in a way that stimulates discussion and interaction.
Expected costs: An average employee costs a company about CHF 400 a day, a two-hour training (which means the absence from work) with about eight people would quickly cost about CHF 1000 for a company. The shortfall in production is not figured in. As there are no direct profits for a company and to make this policy more attractive to the business world, a governmental cover of costs would be recommended. As one probably understood, the financing of this policy is problematic. However, as expressed in the section ‘Questions and Uncertainties’, the authors of this chapter believe this policy was to be kept in the chapter because it could be an interesting hint.
The goal of this training would be to raise the employee’s awareness of their own influence on the climate and motivate them to change their behavior and take action. On the one hand it should raise their general awareness about climate change, its importance and the distress it causes. On the other hand, it should provide practical tips on how to specifically change things at the workplace and in their field of work.
Positive side effects are obviously the changing of behavior and the increase in climate consciousness of all the employees. However, there could of course always be certain people who react reluctantly and won’t be motivated to change anything. It cannot be taken for granted that employees will enthusiastically participate in such a project, change their personal behavior, and commit to helping their company in becoming more sustainable.
This is why it is important to structure the training in such a way that people get the chance to come up with their own ideas and are not just lectured about what to do. The participants should not have the impression that this training is useless and imposed from the State, but rather see it as an occasion to get involved in the matter of climate change and realize they can contribute themselves to the cause.
The question that imposes itself is, naturally, if people will actually take action after receiving the necessary information. The authors of this chapter only provide education, tips and something to think about, we cannot force people to act differently afterwards. This is why we implement practically-based information which is easy and coherent to apply.
Another question is whether to make these policies compulsory or not. Of course, such a policy could be more attractive for a company if it was not implemented by every other company and, at the same time, could be looked at as a strengthening of the image and reputation, as well as becoming a more attractive employer. A label or certificate could be created to increase the companies’ motivation. It would surely be more welcomed by the economy rather than compulsory regulations. Furthermore, it might be received more enthusiastically by the employers as well as the employees if it is based on a voluntary action. However, the authors believe that because of the urgency of the climate crisis these policies should be implemented fast and by every company, not only the ones that are already on an environment friendly path. The authors all reached the consensus that these policies should be looked at as strong recommendations. Whether they are more efficient if made compulsory or on a voluntary-competitive base remains to be discussed.
Massnahme 11.9: Kohlenstoff Gespräche (Carbon Conversations)
Die Menschen treffen sich in ihren Gemeinden und diskutieren in kleinen Gruppen über ihre Gefühle und Gewohnheiten in Bezug auf die Klimakrise. Es ist wichtig, die eigenen Gedanken und Emotionen in Bezug auf die Klimakrise als Kontrast zu all der faktenbasierten Bildung zu diskutieren und sich darüber auszutauschen.
The Carbon Conversations project brings people together to explore climate change and the impact of their personal lives. People within their municipalities meet up and discuss their feelings and practices related to climate change in small groups. The project originated in the UK from researcher Rosemary Randall and has gained international attention. Knowing about climate change is important and education about the drivers of climate change has been covered in other policies in the CAP. Equally important is to discuss and share one’s thoughts and emotions regarding climate change. The evaluation of such initiated projects has shown that participants have changed their behavior after a few sessions. Being able to share feelings of fear, anger, guilt or others related to climate change and realizing that others have the same feelings establishes a common ground and helps participants to take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle. The project is implemented in each municipality, including one session per month, and everyone is welcome to participate. The first sessions are guided with a facilitator and are subsequently self-managed. Each meeting lasts 2 hours. Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on how climate change relates to their personal lives and what kinds of actions they take or want to take and where they are struggling.
The costs are relatively low, as a community building can be used to facilitate the meetings. There are administrative costs in the beginning to implement the project, to inform the public about it and to cover costs for the facilitation.
Talking about emotions connected to climate change allows participants to acknowledge their fears, uncertainties, frustrations and other feelings. As initiated projects have shown, people tend to take action after such discussions. Participants realize that most people share the same feelings and can help each other and find ideas for a mutual change. This leads to an open, flat hierarchy and collaborative approach to take action against climate change. The project will be monitored through continuous evaluations to measure its impact on the participants.
Local communities get empowered to establish a sense of connectedness and belonging. Further, it strengthens a shared learning experience and the motivation to collaborate. The act of listening to other opinions and understanding each other is valued highly. Local initiatives may emerge out of the conversations. Therefore, the project sets the roots for taking action against climate change on multiple levels.
As the project is implemented by the municipalities, the content may differ in different places. Participation is voluntary, therefore, the whole population may not be reached. Nevertheless, the authors count on the public interest of willing to share feelings and practices in regard to climate change.
Kapitel 12: Klima-Anpassung
Hier geht es zum Kapitel. Dort erfährst du mehr über die Hintergründe der Massnahmen.
Massnahme 12.1: Schwerpunkt auf Prävention, Stärkung der Widerstandsfähigkeit und Investitionen in das Gesundheitssystem
Viele Massnahmen zur Schadensbegrenzung haben bereits positive Auswirkungen auf die Gesundheit. Im Allgemeinen sind aber mehr Investitionen im Gesundheitssektor erforderlich. Darüber hinaus ist die Verbesserung der epidemiologischen Überwachung und die aktive Unterstützung der Regierung eines gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts erforderlich. Dazu gehört die Organisation eines Netzwerks, um soziale Bindungen zu stärken. Das vermindert die Anfälligkeit und erhöht die Widerstandsfähigkeit der Gemeinschaft
The overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Pollution does not only affect the climate but also social and environmental determinants of health – clean air and drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. The impact of climate change on health is various and ranges from extreme heat, natural disasters over changes in rainfall patterns and infection patterns to mental health issues because of extreme weather events such as anxiety or depression.
Extreme heat waves can cause heat stress and heat strokes. High temperatures raise levels of ozone which exacerbates cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Aeroallergen levels of e.g. pollen are higher in extreme heat, which can trigger asthma (WHO 2018). Already today household air pollution causes 790 000 premature deaths in continental Europe, corresponding to more than 9000 premature deaths in Switzerland (Lelieveld et al. 2018).
Natural disasters mainly force people living in the global south to move houses. However, in mountain regions in Switzerland it is also possible that extreme weather events such as strong storms or fires cause physical injury. Floods contaminate freshwater supplies, heighten the risk of water-borne diseases, and create breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes. Floods also cause drownings and physical injuries, damage homes and disrupt the supply of medical and health services (IPCC 2018). With a warming climate it is more likely that tiger mosquitos will increasingly settle down in Ticino, which would consequently lead to more vector-borne diseases (FOPH 2018).
The whole population will be affected by climate change, but some communities are more vulnerable than others. People living in bigger cities or mountain regions are particularly vulnerable. Children are among the most vulnerable to the resulting health risks because they will be exposed longer to the health consequences. Parallel to the corona crisis the health effects are also expected to be more severe for elderly people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (WHO 2018). Furthermore, little research exists with regard to the short- and long-term impacts of climate change on mental health disorders (e.g. depression and anxiety), and the associated financial costs. Climate change affects mental health in a variety of direct, indirect, and overarching pathways—disproportionately affecting those most marginalized (Hayes et al. 2018).
The lack of awareness in society is alarming with regards to the health risks caused by climate change. The population needs to know what issues are likely to come up and who is most endangered. Some may be able to withstand heat better than others, but health is a state of physical and mental well-being, rather than the mere absence of illness. To maintain this well-being a holistic approach to health care will become more important than ever in a changing climate. This entails informing the population about climate related health risks, focusing on prevention, deepening research on how to build resilience to climate change and policies that secure a sustainable work environment for health-workers and qualitative caregivers.
The adaptation strategy should focus both on primary prevention i.e. reduction of exposure to infection and upcoming disease as well as on secondary prevention i.e. health care with regards to infectious diseases.
Many policies such as building resilient infrastructure for extreme weather events, creating enough green cooling places in cities, monitoring vector-borne diseases are vital to protect a population affected by increasing health risks. One example for resilient infrastructure is the use of gray-water for watering green spaces such as parks. This ensures they do not dry out and lose their cooling effect even in times when water is scarce (ISOE 2020). Future changes in the local climate must always be incorporated into the planning of cities and their infrastructure. Additionally, following the example of Serrières, it is essential to include the local population in the process.
Furthermore, there are synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation. By building clean energy systems and promoting safe public transportation and active movement – such as cycling or walking as alternatives to using private motorized vehicles – carbon emissions and the burden of household air pollution would be reduced. These alternatives to private motorized vehicles would encourage physical exercise and thus significantly benefit public health. These synergies are win-win situations. However, warning the population about times it is not advisable to do physical exercise outdoors, e.g. during a heat wave, is essential to a holistic adaptation policy.
We demand the enhancement of epidemiological surveillance targeted at specific territories. This is necessary because of the expected expansion of endemic infections and their subsequent emergence in new areas. This would be guided by information from climatic scenarios downscaled to specific regions and their implications in relation to disease cycles.
Meteorological services are highly relevant for the development of early warning systems to protect the population from the impacts of extreme weather events. These systems would guide interventions to increase the resilience of communities affected by disasters and reduce their exposure to infection.
A general approach to adaptation that can have health benefits is the enhancement of social capital. This involves the organization of a network of resources and the strengthening of social linkages that can help to reduce vulnerability and increase community resilience. Assessments have pointed to the advantages of social capital for adaptation (Ebi and Semenza 2008) but the barriers for its development have not been fully assessed (Huang et al. 2011). Research has shown that belonging to a social network can have a protective effect against heat-related illness (Naughton et al. 2002) and population groups that are excluded from access to resources and decision making, i.e. groups with low levels of social capital, in the adaptation process are in turn more vulnerable communities (Cutter and Boruff, n.d.) A concrete example for the building of social capital is the project in Serrièrre from the BAFU. Something like this could prove to be especially significant for senior citizens. It’s our aim that there will be more research on how to build resilience to climate change.
Maintaining a strong health care sector, i.e. avoiding excessive austerity measures, is essential to combating negative health effects from climate change. Care jobs have the potential to be green jobs. Caretaking as it is practiced for example in hospitals or retirement houses requires fewer resources and CO2 emissions tend to be lower compared to sectors involved in the production or distribution of goods. A green job refers to any occupation that is part of the sustainability workforce: a job that contributes to preserving or enhancing the well-being, culture, and governance of both current and future generations, as well as regenerating the natural resources and ecosystems upon which they rely. These green job occupations stand in contrast to work in industries that result in the degradation of ecological systems and the social, cultural, and political institutions that support them. Additionally, it’s important to have more funding for research concerning the relationship of climate change and mental health in order to address these issues properly in the future.
The policies should be put in place as soon as possible to prevent as much damage to the health of the population as possible. Following the Covid19 crisis on one hand, there might be a strong movement from health workers demanding more funding, on the other hand more awareness for the importance of health staff among the population. Thus, it would be a good time to prepare the health system for future climate change related challenges.
All these policies would have a long-term positive impact for public health and living conditions in Switzerland.
The population would be informed better by the monitoring systems and would be provided tools to build resilience for themselves and their communities.
- How much will this transformation cost in the end? And how much will it cost if we miss to do this transformation?
- What concrete measures other than the enhancement of social capital can build resilience to climate caused health issues?
Massnahme 12.2 : Nachhaltige Alternativen für den Tourismus
In Zukunft werden immer mehr Skigebiete nicht mehr in der Lage sein, Wintertourismus ohne künstliche Beschneiung anzubieten. Dabei sind Beschneiungsanlagen nicht klimafreundlich und zögern die nötigen Anpassungen an den Klimawandel nur hinaus. Subventionen an Skigebiete sollen nachhaltige und langfristige Alternativen für den Tourismus ohne künstliche Beschneiung fördern. Kurzfristige Geschäftsmodelle in Skigebieten, die der ökologischen Nachhaltigkeit nicht Rechnung tragen, werden nicht weiter subventioniert.
Demanding that subsidies go towards ski resorts developing sustainable long-term alternatives for tourism without artificial snowmaking and mass tourism.
In the Alps the glaciers provide the clearest evidence of the changes brought because of global warming. In recent decades many Alpine glaciers have shrunk to half their earlier size (Bundesamt für Umwelt (2019). The consequences are rock falls, landslides and more mudslides. Global warming is further accentuated by what is referred to as the feedback effect: like a mirror, glaciers reflect solar energy. If the surface area of the mirror is reduced, the amount of reflection also decreases, and the sun heats up the planet even more. There are other reasons why the Alps are particularly impacted by climate change: the warming effect is more pronounced over land masses than over water. This phenomenon is particularly observable in the northern hemisphere, the location of most of the Earth’s landmass – including the Alps.
The Alps are not just a victim, but also a contributing factor to climate change. Alpine regions consume around 10% more energy per capita than the European average (CIPRA 2012). Since most of the buildings in the Alps are in need of renovation, one of the keys to mitigating climate change lies in the construction industry and proper renovation (CIPRA 2012).
Tourism and transport are two other problematic areas for the climate in the Alps. Accounting for over 93% of traffic, motorized road traffic bears a key responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions caused in the Alps. The motor car is used for 84% of holiday travels to the Alps. This is an area where there is an urgent need for innovative ideas and solutions; after all, the Alps are one of the most important holiday region in Europe, and many livelihoods depend on the tourism industry (CIPRA 2012).
Since 1864 the temperature in Switzerland has already risen by 1,8 degrees, roughly twice as much as the global average (Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz 2016). The CH2018 report comes to similar numbers. In conclusion there are already some, but in the future many more ski regions will be unable to continue offering their current version of winter tourism without artificial snowmaking.
Snowmaking machines consume very high amounts of water and energy, thus have high financial costs and also impact alpine ecosystems by i.a. changing the chemical composition of the soil (Casagrande et al. 2019). They do not solve the problem, but only delay the effects of climate change. The water required for snowmaking could be used for agriculture, households or hydroelectric power plants instead. Competition over water has already begun to emerge in some mountain areas of Switzerland and will certainly increase in the future. Not only is artificial snowmaking environmentally unsustainable, it will not be economically sustainable as secure snow regions decrease and thus costs of snowmaking increase.
A possibility would be to invest in year-round activities that are not dependent on snow such as mountain biking or hiking trails. As public concern for environmental protection increases, programs that care for nature, plant trees, protect biodiversity or holiday camps where participants can help in sustainable alpine agriculture might become more attractive. The goal of any policy should be to include everyone disadvantaged by climate change, to be creative and innovative and encourage ski regions to prepare for the future. Therefore, it is necessary that subsidies that go to ski resorts aim at developing sustainable and long-term alternatives for tourism without artificial snowmaking.
In addition, no further subsidies will be given to short-term business models in ski regions that fail to take environmental sustainability into account. Money, which is provided, should primarily be used to help ski regions diversify their offerings towards whole year solutions to make them more resilient to temperature rises. This can be achieved through measurements, which really evaluate the social and environmental impact of a project.
No additional money is needed. It just has to be used more effectively and under stronger measurements. The Federal Parliament pledged to give CHF 30 million (SECO, 2012) for the years 2020-2023 to Innotour.
This policy would save many ski regions from future financial difficulties due to a decrease in snowfall and water scarcity issues due to a subsequent increase in snowmaking. Additionally, it would facilitate the transition towards sustainable tourism in the Swiss alps. Furthermore, it would protect alpine ecosystems from the various negative impacts of artificial snowmaking infrastructure and reduce energy consumption.
For working people in the sector of winter-tourism the ProGJ (see chapter Economic and political structure) needs to find suitable alternatives.
Massnahme 12.3 : Rechtlicher Rahmen zur Unterstützung von Klimaflüchtlingen
Menschen auf der ganzen Welt müssen als Folge der Klimakrise ihr Zuhause verlassen. Sie sind gezwungen, ihre Heimat zu verlassen, wenn sie überleben wollen Daher kommt dem Flüchtlingsrecht hier eine wichtige Rolle zu. Rechtsberatungen und Hilfestellungen sind notwendig, um die Menschenrechte von Klimaflüchtlingen gewährleisten zu können.
Climate change already has a significant effect on migration and this effect is expected to dramatically increase in the future. The impacts of climate change are numerous. Limited natural resources, such as drinking water, are likely to become even scarcer in many parts of the world. Crops and livestock struggle to survive in the most affected areas. Places where conditions become too hot and dry, or too cold and wet, threaten livelihoods and exacerbate food insecurity (UNHCR n.d.). Due to multiple factors such as thermal expansion and melting ice sheets, the sea level is expected to rise substantially and displace millions living in coastal areas (Bamber et al. 2019). Furthermore, Stanford researchers suggest that intensifying climate change will increase the risk of armed conflict (Mach et al. 2019).
Despite efforts to adapt to the changing environment, individuals around the world are being displaced by the effects of climate change and thus forced to relocate in order to survive. New displacement patterns and competition over depleted natural resources can spark conflict between communities or compound pre-existing vulnerabilities (UNHCR n.d.).
According to the UNHCR report, people who are displaced across borders in the context of climate change and disasters may in some circumstances be in need of international protection. The refugee law therefore has an important role to play in this area. UNHCR is providing protection and assistance for many people displaced by the effects of climate change and disasters, among other drivers, and is working to increase their resilience. Legal advice, guidance and the development of norms to support the enhanced protection of the rights of people displaced in the context of climate change related disasters is therefore needed.
Policymakers have to elaborate the definition “people displaced in the context of disasters and climate change” in the future because it will have severe consequences on which people get help and which do not. To give an idea, this definition could include all people who were forced to leave their homes because of direct natural disasters or economic consequences because of climate change that made it impossible to stay. Furthermore, the definition could also include all refugees who are displaced already and cannot protect themself from natural disasters, heat waves, air pollution, fires etc.
There is no big need for additional financing.
This policy would have a direct impact on all people considered a person displaced in the context of disasters and climate change. They would be protected and supported by Switzerland with legal advice, guidance and the development of norms.
Since there would be more people in Switzerland it could offer a positive chance for diversity and immigrants could bring their knowledge to Switzerland. However, society reacting with hostility towards new people is thinkable too, as happened in 2016 with the refugee movement from Syria. On the other hand, Switzerland’s low birthrate is expected to further decrease, like in many industrial countries (FSO n.d.) People displaced in the context of disasters and climate change could help make up for laborers in sectors where there might be lack of personal.
- What exactly constitutes “persons displaced in the context of disasters and climate change”? Climate change is one of many intersecting factors that have an impact on migration. We acknowledge the complexity and multicausality of migration and highlight the need for more research in this area.
- Furthermore, targeting assistance to “persons displaced in the context of disasters and climate change” would ignore those who were displaced by natural disasters that were not climate change related – such as earthquakes in Haiti or Sichuan – as well as those who were left behind. It would also ignore the needs of many other displaced peoples who flee state collapse, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, but are not covered by the refugee convention. How should Switzerland address this unequal treatment?
- Furthermore, research should also focus on reducing the environmental impact of refugee settlements and ensuring sustainable responses to displacement.