Most Swiss are unwilling to pay more to mitigate climate change

Three quarters of 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed are not prepared to pay more for petrol at all - or if so, only slightly more. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

A survey of more than 23,000 Swiss residents has revealed that most prefer to pay little or nothing more for fuel, heating and flights with a view to reducing carbon emissions. 

This content was published on October 31, 2021 - 11:22
Tamedia/20 Minuten/ac

The climate survey published on Sunday in Swiss papers revealed the gap between the government’s ambition of making the country carbon neutral by 2050 and the willingness of the populace to pay for it. A total of 23,017 people from across the Switzerland participated in the survey in early October that was commissioned by the Tamedia and 20 Minuten media groups. 

Of those surveyed 67% want to pay either nothing or a maximum of 10% more for a tank of gas. In certain sections of the population, resistance is even higher: 80% of young men were against paying more. Even among women, who have a higher willingness to pay than men, 61% were not keen on shelling out more cash at the pump. In contrast to driving a car, the willingness to pay is slightly more when it comes to flying. However, the majority is still reluctant to fork out more: 57% of all respondents are not willing to pay at all - or if they do, they would pay an additional CHF40 at most. 

When it comes to heating the home, 60% want to pay little or nothing more for climate protection . The rejection is high almost all sections of society except supporters of the Green Party. The willingness to pay is highest when it comes to clothes. 47% expressed a willingness to spend significantly more. 

Cost to households and increase in taxes were among the reasons voters narrowly rejected a CO2 law in a referendum in June. 

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