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Masterplan 2050

NGOs urge government to double climate efforts

A coalition of 66 environmental NGOs has renewed calls for the Swiss government to double its ambitions for achieving greenhouse gas reductions if the Paris climate resolutions are to be achieved.

Domestic emissions should be reduced by 60% from 1990 levels by 2030, not 30% as the government envisages, the Climate Alliance said on Thursday. The alliance outlined the measures that should be taken in an updated Masterplan 2050 report.

These include the introduction of a consumption tax on imported products to reduce so-called “grey emission” by 20%, increases in domestic fuel duties and a ban on corporations investing in projects that damage the environment.

Parliament is currently debating post-Paris climate summit proposals to boost Switzerland’s emissions reduction policy. If passed, they would commit Switzerland to reducing domestic CO2 by 30% on 1990 levels and a 20% cut in imported emissions by 2030.

The Climate Alliance, which includes Greenpeace Switzerland, WWF Switzerland, Alliance Süd and the trade union federation, issued calls last December for the Swiss to do more. On Thursday, the group added concrete measures to achieve a neutral carbon footprint by 2050.

Renewable sources

Also on Thursday a coalition of municipal power and alternative energy companies gave an update on their own Masterplan 2050 (issued in 2012) that aims to increase the share of renewable sources in Swiss towns and cities to 30% of energy output by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

This would result in a CO2 reduction of 55% by 2050, the Swisspower report forecasts.

Swisspower says it is on track to realise those goals, having engaged in 200 projects to upgrade energy infrastructure in the past four years.

Switzerland was among the countries last December to sign up to the Paris Climate accord, which aims to limit average global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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