Switzerland set to become climate neutral by 2050

02 Sep 2019

On Wednesday, the Swiss government revealed its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a net-zero level by 2050, Euractiv reports. 

As officials in Bern revealed, Switzerland will amp up its current 70-85% goal; therefore absorbing all the emissions released by mid-century. 

The decision, according to the government, was fuelled by “new scientific findings” in a 2018 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

Countries signing under the Paris Agreement in 2016 had vowed to dedicate their efforts towards retaining global warming this century to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius, with Switzerland now working to keep it to 1.5 degrees. 

In a statement, the government said: “Global warming of 1.5 degrees could also lead to serious changes in ecosystems and that a net emission balance of zero would have to be achieved considerably sooner.”

The complete plan will be shared by the end of 2020. 

About 60% of Switzerland’s electricity is generated from hydropower, 33% from nuclear and the remaining figure is sourced from fossil fuels. However, in the total energy mix, fossil fuels continue to make up about 63%. 

A talk is expected to be held in New York, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposing that world leaders meet to discuss international struggles related to climate change, however U.S. President Donald Trump could put off the event. 

The EU was aiming to release a 2050 net-zero plan however talks were stalled after disagreements broke out and Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland did not sign the agreement.