Switzerland: the referendum to protect its glaciers has passed!



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Switzerland: the referendum to protect its glaciers has passed!

In Switzerland, the referendum has passed, which aims to protect the country's glaciers, and beyond. On 18 April, citizens voted in favor of a climate and innovation law. Swiss citizens are concerned about the state of the glaciers, because in the country, from 1931 to 2016, the volume of glaciers decreased by 50%.

A result that comes under the pressure of information relating to the state of health of Swiss glaciers. According to Swiss glaciologist Matthias Huss, the glaciers in the Alps lost about a third of their volume between 2001 and 2022, making it urgent to take measures to combat climate change.

The climate law will require a gradual shift away from dependence on imported oil and gas towards the use of renewable energy sources. Currently, Switzerland imports around three-quarters of its energy, while all of the oil and natural gas it consumes comes from abroad.

"Cantons and the Confederation will have the task of adopting measures to protect humans and nature from the negative effects of climate change," reads the statement from the FOEN, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment.

The Swiss SP and the Greens celebrated the Yes to the climate law as a great victory: "The clear result shows that the population would like more government investments to combat climate change. We Greens successfully campaigned in parliament for an indirect counter-proposal far-reaching goal setting a net-zero target for 2050 at the latest, as well as strengthening the promotion of heat substitution and climate innovation."

Switzerland: the referendum to protect its glaciers has passed!

The Swiss Climate and Innovation Act provides for the replacement of electric or oil- or gas-fired heating systems with more environmentally friendly systems, through a fund of two billion francs, an incentive of 1.2 billion francs for companies in the industrial and handicraft sector that adopt innovative technologies for environmentally friendly production.

The law provides: "A support of 200 million francs a year for all property owners who intend to replace their oil or gas heating systems with wood-fired systems or heat pumps or who invest in insulation of their buildings.The same incentive also applies to those who intend to replace their electrical system, which is often not very efficient A support of 200 million francs per year for a limited period of six years for all companies that adopt innovative climate-friendly technologies."