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Covid led to massively reduced greenhouse gas footprint

Traffic jam by lake
Of the total greenhouse gas emissions within Switzerland, about one third are caused by transport, excluding international air and sea transport © Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Switzerland’s greenhouse gas footprint decreased by 10% between 2019 and 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Between 2000 and 2019 it fell by only 2%.

In 2020, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere totalled 103 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, the Federal Statistical Office announced on Thursday. Two-thirds of this was emitted abroad. Carbon dioxide accounted for the overwhelming share. However, greenhouse gases also include methane, nitrous oxide and synthetic gases.

Of the total greenhouse gas emissions within Switzerland, about one third are caused by transport (excluding international air and sea transport). About a quarter each comes from buildings and industry. Agriculture and waste treatment as well as the emission of synthetic gases cause 20%.

Since 2000, Switzerland’s greenhouse gas footprint has fallen by 13% – domestic emissions have decreased by 25% and emissions caused by imports by 4%.

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