Tag Archive: Environment

New cars on Swiss roads failed to meet emissions targets

Fuel consumption and emissions limits for new cars in Switzerland missed their target in 2019 for the fourth year in a row. This resulted in sanctions totalling CHF78 million for car importers.

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Fewer cows, more cars: Switzerland misses its emission targets

Switzerland’s emissions have declined over the last 30 years, but not enough to meet the national targets set for 2020. What’s behind the gap? By 2020, greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland should be down by 20% from what they were in 1990. That’s the target outlined in the federal CO2 law.

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Swiss parliament votes in favour of flight tax

A majority of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of introducing a tax on flights departing from Switzerland. 132 voted in favour of the tax, with 65 against. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 depending on the distance and class of travel, according to 20 Minutes.

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‘Green’ aviation fuel aims to power planes by 2030

The Covid-19 pandemic has overshadowed the climate crisis, but with the gradual return of consumption and travel, concerns about global warming are resurfacing. A Swiss start-up is developing an aviation fuel produced solely with water, solar energy and CO2. Will this emission-neutral fuel put an end to “flight shame”?

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Swiss rank high in energy index

Switzerland has placed second in a global index comparing current energy systems and readiness for the transition to cleaner sources. In its new Energy Transition Indexexternal link, the World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies the coronavirus pandemic as a serious threat to the switch to renewable energies.

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Tyres and litterbugs spread plastic across Switzerland

Each year some 14,000 tonnes of plastic waste end up in the Swiss environment. A federally commissioned analysis identifies two main culprits: tyre abrasion (around 8,000 tonnes) and littering (around 2,700 tonnes).

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Swiss price watchdog calls for reduction in train ticket prices

With track fees for rail companies set to drop, savings should be passed on to customers, Stefan Meierhans told the weekly NZZ am Sonntag. The call comes on the heels of revelations that two state-owned rail firms wrongly claimed millions in subsidies.

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Switzerland moves closer to taxing flights

A Swiss parliamentary commission, tasked with looking at the introduction of an environmental tax on flights departing from Switzerland, recently voted in favour a such a tax. A majority of 17 to 8 members voted in favour of the move. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 per passenger depending on flight distance and class.

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Parliament rubber stamps free trade deal with Indonesia

The Swiss parliament has given the go-ahead for a free trade deal with Indonesia, although not without debates about sustainability and the Asian country’s production of palm oil. Almost exactly a year after the deal was signed between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Indonesia, the Swiss parliament gave its green light on Thursday.

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Swiss seek compromise amid ‘lack of will’ at climate talks

This year, the signal from the scientific community has been loud and clear on climate change: something needs to be done, and soon. But leadership at the United Nations’ annual climate conference appears less clear-cut, and the head of the Swiss delegation is frustrated by hesitation to move ahead.

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Environmental spending and jobs on the rise 

Swiss spending on environmental protection has increased 45% in the last eighteen years, while the number of people employed in the sector has almost doubled. Environmental protection spending rose from CHF8.5 billion ($8.6 billion) in 2000 to CHF12.4 billion in 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Officeexternal link. As a percentage of GDP, it has remained rather stable, fluctuating between 1.9% and 1.7%.

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Using lake water to help reduce Switzerland’s carbon footprint

Swiss lakes offer huge potential as renewable energy sources that can be used to cool and heat buildings. Geneva is expanding a pioneering thermal exchange project to help meet its climate goals, while other regions are taking the plunge. After transport, the second and third biggest sources of national greenhouse gas emissions are Swiss industry (20% of total in 2017) and households (18%).

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Why Nestlé won’t meet its zero-deforestation pledge

When it came under fire from environmental groups over its harvesting of palm oil, Swiss food giant Nestlé committed to eliminating deforestation from its supply chain by next year. But it will take another three years to come close to accomplishing that goal.

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Referendum to ban tobacco advertising in Switzerland reaches 100,000 signatures

An initiative demanding a ban on tobacco advertising has collected 109,969 valid signatures, more than the 100,000 minimum required to launch a popular vote, according to RTS. The planned vote entitled: “Yes to the protection of children and young people against tobacco advertising” demands the federal government ban all forms of tobacco advertising towards children and young people.

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Steep drop in thefts in Switzerland

Comparing 2018 to 2012, thefts in Switzerland fell by nearly half, according to the Federal Statistical Office. In 2012, there were a record 219,000 thefts recorded in Switzerland. By 2018, the figure had fallen to 112,000, a drop of 49%.

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Swiss Rail drops plan to put Wi-Fi in trains

Swiss Rail has dropped plans to install Wi-Fi in its trains, according to the newspaper Le Matin. After a survey revealed that customers would only use on-board Wi-Fi it was free, the company decided there was no justifiable way to cover the cost, according the the newspaper. Swiss Rail is not prepared to bear the costs the mobile operators would charge them for the service and cannot not justify adding the cost to ticket prices.

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Food consumes far less of Swiss budgets than it did 25 years ago

Comparing the most recent statistics on Swiss consumer inflation to those in 1993 reveals a steep drop in the percentage of spending allocated to food. When statisticians calculate consumer price rises they look at the prices of a standard basket of goods. In 1993, food and non-alcoholic beverages made up 14.3% of the value of this standard basket. By 2018, the percentage had fallen to 10.4%, a 27% drop.

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3 million francs of gold and silver found in Swiss sewers

Call it “dirty money” if you wish, because there’s about CHF 3 million in gold and silver found each year in Swiss sewage. But no one is going to get rich, according to a just-published report by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). Recovering the estimated CHF 1.5 million in gold, and the same in silver, that passes through Swiss wastewater each year, wouldn’t be cost-effective, says the report. On the bright...

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The Swiss municipalities with too many second homes – latest figures

On 11 March 2012, Swiss voted to accept a law restricting the construction of secondary residences, homes that are only used occasionally by owners living somewhere else. Under the law no more than 20% of a municipality’s housing can be second homes. Those with percentages above 20% run into building restrictions.

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Destroying The “Wind & Solar Will Save Us” Delusion

Submitted by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog, The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons. Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies. This short … Continue reading »

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