Swiss parties on the political right have done poorly in an environmental rating ahead of federal elections in October. An alliance of green groups has called on voters to strike off the list of candidates “politicians who are harmful to the environment”.
All parties flash their green credentials in the run-up to elections but then forget their promises, said the coalition of Greenpeace, Pro Natura, WWF Switzerland, the Swiss Traffic Association, Birdlife Switzerland and the Swiss Energy Foundation.
On Tuesday it said it had examined – and exposed – “concrete political promises and statements” made by political parties, for example “the [centre-right] Radical Party is concerned about the environment” or “the People’s Party is oriented towards environmental friendliness”.
This analysis was based on, among other sources, an analysis of 48 environmental decisions taken in the House of Representatives in the 2007-2011 legislative period. The results have been published (in German and French) along with the election promises of all candidates for the 2015-2019 legislative period.
The alliance said surveys had found that “voters from right-of-centre parties are significantly more environmentally friendly than their parliamentarians”.
It said the Radical Party was “forcing the dismantling of the environment” and the conservative right Swiss People’s Party was “an environmental problem in nine out of ten cases”.
Range of opinions
Parliamentarians on the other side of the political spectrum were given very good marks. Many had supported all 48 environment-friendly decisions.
The alliance pointed out that the leftist parliamentarian with the worst environmental record – Claude Janiak of the Social Democratic Party who voted in favour of the environment 84.6% of the time – did significantly better than the greenest parliamentarian from the People’s Party, Markus Hausammann (30.2%).
Other parties that scored well were the leftwing Green Party and the centrist Protestant Party and Liberal Green Party.
Among members of the centrist Christian Democratic Party and Conservative Democratic Party the range of support varied wildly, from 82% in favour of green motions to 22% against.
swissinfo.ch and agencies