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Carbon footprint contracts slightly

The output of greenhouse gases in Switzerland dropped slightly last year but remained above the legal limit.

The Federal Environment Office said carbon dioxide emissions from heating oil and gas dropped by one per cent between 2009 and 2010, while those from petrol and diesel saw a reduction of 0.4 per cent.

The environment office said emissions from heating oil and gas were nearly 13 per cent lower than in 1990, while output from petrol and diesel were about 13 per cent above.

However, the levels still fell nearly two per cent short of the targeted reductions – even when factoring in the purchase of emission certificates from developing countries.

The government recently announced Switzerland was unlikely to reach the internationally agreed reduction targets for 2012.

A signatory to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the Swiss authorities committed themselves to reducing the amount of CO2 by ten per cent between 2008 and 2012, compared with 1990 levels.

The House of Representatives in May decided to introduce a tax on petrol, but the move is still subject to approval by the other parliamentary chamber, the Senate.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR