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Climate Change Strategy

On 28 August 2019, the Federal Council adopted a net-zero target. Switzerland aims to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2050.

On 27 January 2021, the Federal Council adopted its Long-Term Climate Strategy. In ten strategic principles, it sets the guidelines for Switzerland’s long-term climate policy. The Long-Term Climate Strategy also sets targets for each sector and shows possible developments up to the year 2050.

Remaining emissions that are difficult to avoid must be offset by so-called negative emission technologies. The Long-Term Climate Strategy shows needs that may arise in this area.

The Federal Council decided that Switzerland would aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and gave the Federal Department of the  Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) the task of drawing up a long-term climate strategy, thus ensuring that Switzerland meets a requirement of the Paris Agreement.

Targets for the sectors

The long-term climate strategy shows how greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland can develop in order to achieve the net-zero target. Strategic goals for the individual sectors are set out on this basis. The emission paths are based on the Swiss Federal Office of Energy’s
Energy Perspectives 2050+. The strategy sets the following targets for individual sectors, to be achieved by 2050:

Buildings: The building stock no longer generates greenhouse gas emissions.
Industry: Greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector are reduced by at least 90 percent compared to 1990 levels.
Transport: With few exceptions, land transport no longer generates greenhouse gas emissions.
Air transport: International air transport from Switzerland, as far as possible, no longer causes any net climate-impacting emissions. • Agriculture: Thanks to the promotion of sustainable food systems, the greenhouse gas footprint of food decreases in line with the net-zero target without shifting greenhouse gas emissions abroad. Greenhouse gas emissions from domestic agricultural production are reduced by at least 40 percent compared to 1990. At least 50 percent of Switzerland’s food needs are met by domestic production.
Financial market: In line with the target in the Paris Agreement, Switzerland’s financial flows follow a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Remaining emissions

In 2050, greenhouse gas emissions of around 11.8 million tonnes of CO2eq remain. These come largely from agriculture, industry and waste recycling.

Switzerland Remaining Emissions 2050