Federal Council and cantons recommend a Yes to the Climate and Innovation Law

Switzerland imports around three quarters of its energy from abroad. Parliament, the Federal Council and the cantons want to reduce Switzerland's dependence, strengthen climate protection and promote innovation.

Parliament has passed the Climate and Innovation Law as an indirect counter-proposal to the Glacier Initiative. With the Federal Law on Climate Protection Goals, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security (in short: Climate and Innovation Law; CIL), the federal government is giving itself a clear roadmap for reducing fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. By 2050, emissions of harmful greenhouse gases are to be reduced to zero.

Referendum forces to referendum

The Climate and Innovation Law has been subject to a referendum, which is why it will be put to the vote on June 18, 2023. According to the stance of Parliament and the Federal Council, the law does without new bans, regulations, fees, taxes and charges. Instead, homeowners who replace their oil or gas heating systems or improve the insulation of their homes would receive financial support. The law provides for 200 million Swiss francs annually over ten years for this purpose. The federal government also provides financial support for the replacement of electric heating systems. These consume around 10% of Switzerland's electricity in winter. This is equivalent to the amount produced by the decommissioned Mühleberg nuclear power plant in an entire year. According to the Federal Council, it therefore makes sense to move away from electric heating. In addition, industry and commerce are also supported if they invest in innovative climate technologies. For this purpose, 200 million Swiss francs per year are also earmarked over a period of six years.

Confederation and cantons must take measures against climate change

The Climate and Innovation Law obliges the federal government and the cantons to take measures against the effects of climate change. Floods, drought, heat, but also debris flows and rockfalls are increasingly causing problems for the population. Even with global efforts to combat climate change, such effects are unlikely to be avoided.

Climate target law enjoys broad support

«The bigger the climate crisis gets, the more dangerous the risks become», clarifies Christian Lüthi, managing director of the Climate Alliance. The Climate Targets Law is a decisive step for climate policy in Switzerland. It points the way to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and sets urgently needed targets for Switzerland to make its contribution to tackling the climate crisis. Reducing its own emissions is an important step for climate justice, Lüthi said.

The Conference of Cantonal Governments also supports the Climate and Innovation Law. The Swiss Business Federation Economiesuisse, the Swiss Farmers' Union, the Swiss Tourism Federation, the Union of Cities and Towns, the Tenants' Association, the Swiss Working Group of Mountain Regions (SAB), the Association of the Mechanical, Electrical and Metal Industries (Swissmem), the Swiss Association of Municipalities, and numerous nature conservation and environmental protection organizations, such as Greenpeace, also say Yes.

The initiative committee has conditionally withdrawn the Glacier Initiative in favor of the counter-proposal. If the Climate and Innovation Law is adopted, the initiative, which aims to ban fossil fuels from 2050, will be off the table.