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Swiss Narrowly Miss CO2 Emission Targets

CO2 emissions from heating oil and gas only dropped slightly last year despite mild winter temperatures. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally

Switzerland has again failed to meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, prompting a rise in CO2 taxes.

Last year emissions from fuel, including heating oil and gas, were 31% lower than 1990 levels, according to data released by the Federal OfficeExternal link for the Environment on Wednesday. This is unchanged from 2019 and falls short of the required 33%.

As a result, a tax on CO2 will increase from CHF96 ($104) to CHF120 per tonne of emissions in 2022.

Emissions from petrol fell by 8% last year while heating oil and gas accounted for a reduction of just 1% despite mild temperatures last winter.

“The measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic have had no impact on the use of fuel,” the statement said.

Under the CO2 regulations in place since 2008, a tax is gradually increased if the reduction target is missed. Swiss residents are entitled to two-thirds of the revenue – CHF87 per person this year. The remainder goes to the cantonal authorities.

Last month Swiss voters threw out a legal amendment to the CO2 law, including a surcharge on diesel and petrol as well as a tax hike and a levy on plane tickets.

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