Zurich voters approve ban on oil and gas heaters

Oil- and gas-powered systems account for 40% of Zurich’s greenhouse gas emissions. Keystone/Walter Bieri

Zurich has become the latest canton in Switzerland to ban oil and gas heating systems.

This content was published on November 28, 2021 minutes

Official figuresExternal link show nearly 63% of voters on Sunday endorsing a law approved by parliament to replace fossil fuels in heating systems with alternative energy sources. 

The voters rejected an attempt by the house owner’s association and the right-wing People’s Party to challenge the new law.

The government is doubling its annual financial support for house owners to switch to more climate-friendly heaters.

Supporters said oil- and gas-powered systems account for 40% of Zurich’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Opponents argued the reform goes too far and will lead to a price hike for rented property.

There is also concern that some property owners might use the installation of a new heating systems for general refurbishments of buildings, thereby forcing tenants to move out of their apartments.

Just over half of the country’s 26 cantons have tightened regulations on energy standards for buildings.

However, voters in cantons Bern, Solothurn and Aargau recently rejected proposals at the ballot box.

In June, Swiss voters threw out a reform of the CO2 law which targeted road vehicles, air traffic, industrial emissions, and the renovation of buildings.

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