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The revised CO2 Act, the cornerstone of Swiss climate policy, came into force on 1 January 2013. It sets an emissions reduction target for 2020 and sets out various measures for buildings, transport and industry. If the interim targets are not achieved, specific measures may be tightened.
Greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland should be reduced by 20% from their 1990 level by 2020. This means a reduction of approximately 11 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Households and companies also contribute to the savings. If the interim goals (see CO2 Ordinance, Art. 3) are not achieved, the Federal Council can tighten regulations on thermal and motor fuels.
The revised CO2 Act maintains the incentive fee on fossil thermal fuels (CO2 levy) introduced in 2008 and raises it in step with the interim targets. First, the CO2 levy increases the cost of heating buildings with oil or gas. This makes energy efficiency renovations and renewable energies more attractive. A portion of the levy will be used for the buildings programme, which promotes building renovations, investments in renewable energies, waste heat recovery and building utilities optimisation.
Two measures are aimed at reducing emissions caused by transport:
The incentive fee for fossil thermal fuels (CO2 levy) provides an incentive to companies to operate as energy efficiently as possible. The CO2 Act provides two measures for especially energy intensive industries and companies:
Approximately two-thirds of the CO2 levy is redistributed to the general public through a reduction in health insurance premiums and to the businesses through OASI compensation offices.
Since the redistribution is carried out per capita or per franc of salary independently of consumption, all households and installations that consume low quantities of fossil thermal fuels benefit from it.
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