Right-wing challenge to greenhouse gas targets gathers steam

All of Switzerland's glaciers will melt away by the end of the century if global warming continues at the same rate, say researchers. Keystone / Valentin Flauraud

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party says it has gathered enough signatures to launch an initiative to challenge parliament’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland.

This content was published on January 9, 2023 minutes

Last autumn, parliament agreed on a new set of laws to reduce Swiss CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050.

The legal changes were put forward in response to the so-called Glacier Initiative that aimed to enshrine the goals of the Paris Agreement in the Swiss constitution.

Parliament has agreed to spend CHF3.2 billion ($3.4 billion) to replace fossil fuel heating in buildings and to promote new green technology.

The compromise was enough to persuade Glacier Initiative supporters to call off the nationwide vote.

But the People’s Party believes the proposed laws are going too far and so launched its own initiative to challenge parliament’s decision.

That initiative has now easily surpassed the threshold number of signatures required to force a nationwide vote.

The People’s Party said on Monday that the signatures will be handed in later this month.

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