Tag Archive: Environment

Pesticide-free farming: can the vision seduce Swiss voters?

Voters decide Sunday on two separate initiatives aiming to ban or reduce the use of synthetic pesticides in the country. Polls suggest the proposals are on the back foot. Is Switzerland about to become an organic farming pioneer?

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Swiss pesticide votes – pesticides, antibiotics, gut bacteria, hormones and disease

As we move through time scientific research improves our understanding of the world. The resulting revelations often point to changes that could lead to progress. However, these changes are rarely painless. Shifting away from the use of antibiotics on livestock and the agricultural use of pesticides are not small adjustments.

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Electricity watchdog sounds warning on Swiss energy security

The Federal Electricity Commission (ElCom) has again voiced concern about Switzerland’s ability to secure sufficient power supplies in the coming years. While there is no immediate danger of shortfalls in the Alpine state, the electricity watchdog said on Thursday that more should be done to ensure domestic energy security in the mid to long term.

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Swiss Aviation Sector Aims to go Carbon Neutral by 2050

The Swiss aviation sector, which includes Swiss International Air Lines and Zurich Airport, has pledged to slash CO2 emissions and make flying net zero by 2050.

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Swiss Campaign Heats up ahead of an Emotional Vote on Pesticides

Death threats, insults, posters vandalised or set on fire: the campaign for two initiatives against pesticides to be put to the vote on June 13 is extremely tense. This toxic climate highlights a deep malaise in the Swiss agricultural world.

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Organic farming continues to gain ground in Switzerland

Switzerland continues to shift towards organic farming. Between 2000 and 2020, the number of organic farms has risen by 54%. In 2020, the number rose 3.8%. Organic farms now make up 15.3% of total farms in Switzerland, up from 6.9% 20 years ago. In 2000, there were 4,902 organic farms. By 2020, the number had risen 54% to 7,561.

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Overtourism could give way to Sustainable Travel

Let me state from the outset, you won’t get a discount if you mention to your travel agent that you read this article when you book your trip to Switzerland this summer. But it will be nice to have you back; Switzerland – in line with much of Europe – is planning to open up to overseas visitors in a few short weeks. And since we haven’t seen you in a while, I expect you’ll be welcomed with open arms!

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Latest poll shows majority support for Swiss anti-pesticide votes

With five weeks to go before Swiss vote on two initiatives aimed at drastically cutting the use of pesticides, more than 50% appear to be in favour of both initiatives, according to RTS. © Dusan Kostic | Dreamstime.comOne of these initiatives, the clean drinking water initiative, aims to tie access to Switzerland’s generous farm subsidies to forgoing pesticide (and antibiotic) use. The second aims to ban the use of synthetic pesticide use...

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Main Swiss farmers’ group alarmed by proposed pesticide ban

The director of the leading Swiss farmers’ organisation is deeply concerned about two initiatives to ban pesticide. Martin Rufer explains what voters’ approval would mean for Switzerland’s agriculture.

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Is the grass greener outside the EU?

Britain argues that Brexit will make British agriculture greener. SWI Swissinfo.ch looks at how successful EU agricultural policies have been, and how they compare with Switzerland’s approach.  

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Economic outlook for Switzerland in 2021

Have the Swiss and European Union economies already been through the worst, or will the pandemic cause more damage in 2021? Keystone / Martin Ruetschi Lockdown, home office, travel bans. The pandemic has shaken up the economy, but its disruptive power is having a selective effect. While the pharmaceutical industry is sailing through the crisis unscathed, the watch industry is being hit harder than any time since the last world war. What is the...

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Countries still far from achieving sustainable development

The latest United Nations Human Development Report has found that countries, including Switzerland, still struggle to achieve high levels of human development without straining the planet.

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Swiss National Bank accused of lagging behind in green investment

Swiss banks and retirement funds are still investing enormous sums in fossil fuel companies and thereby contributing to global warming. This is the conclusion of a government climate compatibility test. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) didn’t even take part in the test – and is lagging far behind foreign institutions in climate protection.

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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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