More greenhouse gas emissions but at less intensity

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport saw a significant increase since 1990 Gaetan bally / KEYSTONE

This content was published on November 11, 2014 minutes

Switzerland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 3.2% between 1990 and 2012, according to a report published by the Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday. However, the emission intensity fell by almost a quarter thanks to a more efficient Swiss economy.

The production of goods and services contributed to 65% of total greenhouse gas emissions that increased by 4% since 1990. However, this was accompanied by an almost 40% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) over the same period.  As a result, Switzerland has the lowest greenhouse gas intensity in Europe.

The creation of CHF1 ($1.03) of value added to goods or services generated 74 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2012 compared to 98 grams in 1990, corresponding to a decrease of 25%.

Swiss households were responsible for 35% of the country’s emissions that increased by 1.7% since 1990. Their share in overall emissions is one of the highest in Europe.

Thanks to improved heating systems and better insulation, emissions caused by heating houses fell by almost 13%. However, transport related emissions increased by almost 28% due to a growing population and the increased mobility of households.

The report does not take into account emissions associated with products imported from outside Switzerland.  According to the Federal Office for the Environment, this accounted for 52 million tonnes in 2011, more than the emissions released by the entire Swiss economy for that year.

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