Swiss voters have approved the new climate law that aims to accelerate the country’s transition to renewable energy and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The law received support from 59.1% of voters, with a turnout of about 42%. Regional voting differences were observed, with French-speaking and large German-speaking cantons backing the law while smaller German-speaking cantons rejected it.
The law, passed in September 2022, sets emissions targets to fulfill international climate commitments, promotes domestic renewable energy sources, and enhances energy security. Financial support of CHF3.2 billion ($3.2 billion) over ten years will incentivize homeowners and businesses to adopt climate-friendly systems.
The law garnered broad support from political parties, government bodies, cities, municipalities, the business community, and environmental groups. Supporters emphasized the importance of clear objectives and the effectiveness of financial incentives.
Environmental groups Greenpeace and WWF called for swift implementation, while opponents, mainly the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, expressed concerns about the law’s impact on the economy, population, and landscape.
Switzerland, highly vulnerable to the climate crisis, aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The federal and cantonal authorities will lead by example, targeting net-zero emissions by 2040. The financial sector will also be expected to contribute to the transition.
Now that the law has passed, specific measures will be defined to achieve the climate goals through revisions of existing laws. The government aims to consider technological advancements during this process.