Tag Archive: Environment

Why governments need to tackle the impact of trade on climate change

In 2021, global carbon pollution returned almost to 2019 levels, after a drop during the lockdowns of the pandemic year 2020. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved The production and trade of goods is at the heart of the globalised market and has a significant environmental impact. Yet there was little discussion at COP26 on how to make it more sustainable, the former director of the World Trade Institute (WTI) tells SWI...

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Banks risk becoming new fossil fuel villains in 2022

As businesses were gearing up for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, one of Europe’s larger banks released an update on how it planned to do its bit to combat global warming.

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Switzerland outlines 15 Alpine hydro projects for the future

Authorities, environmental groups, and energy providers have named 15 major hydropower projects that could help Switzerland achieve energy security and a green transition over the coming decades. The projects were chosen for their energy efficiency potential as well as their minimal impact on biodiversity and the landscape, the groups wrote in a joint declaration on Monday. It was the third time that the “round-table” had met since August 2020.

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Lights out – Geneva to cut lights to save electricity

This week, the government of the canton of Geneva changed a law to require non residential buildings, with some exceptions, to switch off their lights at night between 1am and 6am.

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Cleaning up Switzerland’s toxic legacy

The widespread dioxin pollution uncovered in Lausanne has surprised many and raised concerns about the health consequences, clean-up costs and extent of the problem. The small Alpine nation may be well known for its stunning natural beauty, but thousands of sites contaminated with various other pollutants still need remediation.

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Big Swiss companies obliged to report on climate risks from 2024

From 2024, large Swiss firms will be legally bound to report on their climate-related risks. The government has now published guidelines on which companies and which risks will be involved.

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Swiss flood damage could cost half a billion francs

Switzerland’s four largest buildings insurers estimate the costs of recent weather events could reach half a billion francs across Switzerland, reported RTS. According to Grégoire Deiss, who works for the cantonal buildings insurer ECAB in Fribourg, the cost of recent storms and flooding could be around CHF 500 million across all of Switzerland, a figure he based on claims that have been made so far.

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Central Switzerland braces itself for another ‘flood of the century’

Lakes and rivers in central Swiss cantons such as Bern and Lucerne have reached dangerous levels, and more rain is forecast for Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday authorities in canton Bern said water levels on Lake Thun, Lake Biel and in the city of Bern would significantly exceed flood limits in the coming days.

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Toxic Metals Studies Add to Frustrations Surrounding Swiss-Owned Mine in Peru

Health concerns over toxic metals in remote communities near a mining complex in the Peruvian Andes are gaining ground after the publication of several reports. Glencore which owns the mine, points at natural mineralisation of the environment.

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Swiss Narrowly Miss CO2 Emission Targets

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%.

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Swiss Meat and Eggs often not very Swiss

Any animal raised and slaughtered in Switzerland can be labelled Swiss. However, what the animal has been fed could be from anywhere. If animals are what they eat then much of the meat and eggs labelled Swiss aren’t very Swiss.

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Switzerland’s Battle of the Bees

The risk to bees through pesticides and the ensuing effects on the world’s food crops have been the source of much debate. But do Swiss measures to support the domestic honeybee disadvantage the equally important wild bee?

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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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