Greenhouse gas emissions decline
Swiss greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2007 by 1.9 million tonnes on 2006 to 51.3 million tonnes. This is 1.4 million tonnes (2.7 per cent) less than in 1990.
The findings were part of the current greenhouse gas inventory for Switzerland, which was passed to the United Nations on Wednesday.
Figures for 2007 and 2006 show that greenhouse gas emissions from heating fuels in particular went down by nine per cent. About a third of the drop can be attributed to the very mild temperatures during winter 2007.
The main cause however is likely to be the increase in prices for heating oil since 2004, said the Federal Environment Office. In 2007 prices rose continuously from about SFr0.70 ($0.60) per litre in January to over SFr1 per litre in December.
Another factor may well have been the increased popularity of alternative energy sources (wood, solar power and ambient heat).
The greenhouse gas inventory is the most important element in verifying whether Switzerland can achieve its requirements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol.
Between 2008 and 2012 it will be necessary to reduce the output of the most significant greenhouse gases by eight per cent compared with 1990.
In order to achieve the targets set for the period 2008-2012 it will be necessary to take into account the purchase of foreign emissions certificates and the carbon sink capacity of the Swiss forests as well as emissions development.
According to the Federal Environment Office, Switzerland can achieve the Kyoto target if the forest carbon sink capacity and the emissions certificates that have been bought are taken into account.
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