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Government outlines climate progress

Switzerland says it can - under certain conditions - meet its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Federal Environment Office presented a report on Monday at the climate change summit in Copenhagen, which outlines Switzerland’s efforts to meet its international obligations.

Switzerland has committed itself to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases by eight per cent between 2008 and 2012, compared with 1990 levels.

But since emissions remained at the same level between 1990 and 2007, the environment office said Switzerland would need to take carbon sinks into account and purchase international emissions certificates.

In 2007, Switzerland emitted around 51 million tons of greenhouse gases (CO2 and other greenhouse gases converted into CO2 equivalent). This amounted to 6.73 tonnes of CO2 per capita.

The environment authorities said the reason there has been no reduction is due to the fact that “measures taken in Switzerland up to the end of 2007 were mainly voluntary”.

However, it noted that the commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol only came into force in 2008, as did Switzerland’s CO2 Act, which includes a tax on combustible fuel.

By 2020, Switzerland has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent compared with 1990 levels.


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