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Trending green  Environmental spending and jobs on the rise 

woman walks past urban wildflowers

Spending on biodiversity was modest compared with expenditure on waste treatment and waste water management. 

(Keystone)

Swiss spending on environmental protection has increased 45% in the last eighteen years, while the number of people employed in the sector has almost doubled.  

Environmental protection spending rose from CHF8.5 billion ($8.6 billion) in 2000 to CHF12.4 billion in 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Officeexternal link. As a percentage of GDP, it has remained rather stable, fluctuating between 1.9% and 1.7%. In 2018, the figure was 1.8%.  

This spending includes financial outlay by households, businesses and public entities. In 2018, the biggest chunk was spent on waste management (CHF5.2 billion) and waste water management (CHF3.048 billion).   

Spending on protection of biodiversity and the countryside, even though it has nearly doubled in eighteen years, was only CHF695 million. Climate-linked expenditure totalled CHF583 million, compared with CHF306 million in 2000.  

Job creation  

The number of jobs in the environmental sector has almost doubled over the same period, rising from the equivalent of 80,000 to 150,000 full-time posts, which represents 3.7% of total employment.  

This sector covers production of goods and services aimed at protecting the environment or preserving natural resources, the statistical office explained on Tuesday. The increase in jobs was particularly strong in the energy resource management and energy saving sectors.   

RTS/jc

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