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CO2 law Refusal to act on climate change slammed as shortsighted

Environment Minister in parliament

Environment Minister Leuthard made her final appearance in parliament during a four-day debate.

(Keystone)

Environment Minister Doris Leuthard says she is disappointed by the rejection of an amended law on carbon dioxide emissions by an alliance of rightwing and leftwing parties in parliament.

However, Leuthard said it was foreseeable that a majority in the House of Representatives would throw out the watered-down version of the government bill and she has called on all parties to be more pragmatic.

In an interview with Swiss public radio, SRF, she said the current situation is no good for anybody and the past hot summer had shown that political action is needed to reduce CO2 emissions in Switzerland.

“Not everyone appears to have realised this, it seems,” she said.

Leuthard, who will step down from the Swiss government at the end of this year, said the Senate will get a chance to discuss the planned reform next year.

The government wants to ensure that Switzerland adheres to the decisions of the Paris climate accord aimed at limiting a further rise in temperatures worldwide.

The contentious issues during the ten-hour debate in parliament included carbon offsetting credits purchased abroad, restrictions on emissions from heating oil, price hikes for petrol as well as a levy on plane tickets and possible sanctions.

swissinfo.ch/urs

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