Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Climate change

Swiss CO2 offset system vulnerable to fraud

Switzerland’s Federal Audit Office has released a report that says the nation's system for compensating for CO2 emissions does not adequately avoid fraud. Tighter controls are recommended, but authorities are concerned about increasing bureaucracy.

Since Switzerland’s CO2 law was enacted in 2013, fuel importers must compensate for part of their CO2 output by financing projects aimed at reducing emissions.

Ten private audit offices are responsible for auditing these projects before they get the green light from the environment ministry, which gives companies a certificate worth CHF100 ($104) for each tonne of CO2  reduced.

However, the Federal Audit Office reports a high risk of fraud, noting that the current system is too complex.

The office cites evidence of inefficiencies in the project auditing process, as well as false information provided by project owners, incomplete and missing documentation submitted to the environment ministry, and inconsistent treatment of different projects by auditors. It also warns that the independence of the auditing bodies is not guaranteed, and must be improved.

The Federal Audit Office called on the Swiss government to take action, notably by sanctioning  false project declarations.

Swiss news agency ATS reported Tuesday that the environment ministry has agreed that the next revision of the CO2 law should introduce a mechanism to better verify the independence of supervisory bodies.

However, the ministry is concerned that several of the Federal Audit Office’s recommendations could lead to more bureaucracy, going against demands of policies to reduce it.                                          

Sign up for our free newsletter and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.