CO2 tax rise supported by three-quarters of Swiss residents

The poll showed that 75% of people were in favour of increasing Switzerland’s CO2 tax based on the “polluter pays” principle. Keystone / Alessandro Della Bella

Almost three out of four Swiss citizens (71%) believe that the price of fossil fuels like heating oil and natural gas must rise if the country’s climate policy is to be implemented.

This content was published on October 27, 2020 - 15:00

A survey published on Tuesday also showed that 75% of people were in favour of increasing Switzerland’s CO2 tax based on the “polluter pays” principle, as provided for in the new CO2 law finalised last month.

Almost two-thirds of consumers would also like to switch to environmentally friendly heating, the poll found.

After three years of debate, in September the Swiss parliament reached agreement on the new CO2 law which includes a package of incentives to achieve the country’s climate goals. The Swiss authorities aim to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 relative to 1990 levels.

The new law introduces numerous incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement signed in 2015. Three-quarters of the reductions in CO2 emissions will have to be achieved in Switzerland and the rest abroad.

The measures introduced include a tax on private jet flights as well as a tax on airline tickets of CHF30-CHF120 ($33-$131) depending on the flight distance. Some money collected from this tax will be reimbursed to the population through social contributions.


The new law also provides for an increase in an incentive tax on fossil fuels such as heating oil and natural gas, from CHF120 to a maximum of CHF210 per tonne of CO2.

Other measures include limits on CO2 emissions for new heating systems in buildings. Emission targets for new vehicles will be tightened in line with the European Union and new targets will be set for heavy lorries. The law also provides for the creation of a special fund, notably research into new technology.

The details regarding the implementation of the new law still need to be finalised.

Tuesday’s survey, Energy Trend Monitor Switzerland 2020, was carried out among 1,000 representative Swiss consumers by a market research institute on behalf of the renewable energy firm Stiebel Eltron.

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