• Swiss referendum approves Climate Law in test of public climate action sentiment

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

In an interesting marker of public sentiment regarding decarbonisation, a referendum in Switzerland on its Climate Law has been passed, with support reaching 59.1% (according to the BBC, and 58% according to the Financial Times).

The Climate Law sets a 2050 “carbon neutrality” goal, and commits 2 billion Swiss Francs for households to transition away from fossil fuels (all of which are imported), as well as 1.2 billion Swiss Francs for businesses to invest in sustainable technologies. However, while this points to a rapid decline in the importation of fossil fuels, the Climate Law does not mandate where green energy is to be sourced, even though Switzerland has an excellent record of producing low/zero carbon electricity through hydro and nuclear power.

This lack of a mandate may make the deployment of other renewables, such as solar and wind, more difficult, at a time where there are trade tensions with the European Union regarding the import and export of electricity.