CO2 Emissions from thermal and motor fuels
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main man-made greenhouse gas. It is generated primarily when fossil fuels such as heating oil and natural gas (thermal fuels) or petrol and diesel (motor fuels) are burnt.
The CO2 levy for fossil thermal fuels is an important instrument for achieving international and national emissions targets. The CO2 levy rate is raised when degree-day-adjusted CO2 emissions from thermal fuels exceed the stipulated threshold values. This way, the CO2 levy was raised in January 2014 from 36 to 60 francs per ton of CO2, in January 2016 to 84 francs per ton of CO2, in January 2018 to 96 francs per ton of CO2 and in January 2022 to 120 francs per ton of CO2. At the moment, legislation does not foresee to further increase the CO2 levy.
In 2022, the degree-day-adjusted CO2 emissions from thermal fuels decreased once again. Compared to 1990, the emissions decreased by 36 percent, compared to the previous year the decrease amounts to 4.9 percent. This reduction can, to a large degree, be attributed to increased energy efficiency in buildings and an increased use of renewable energy for heating. The increased efforts of the cantons contribute significantly to this. However, the majority of buildings in Switzerland (responsible for around three quarters of CO2 emissions from fuels) are still heated with fossil oil or natural gas.
In 2022, CO2 emissions from motor flues decreased by 1.1 percent compared to the previous year. The emissions are, however, still clearly lower than the values from 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to the 1990 level, the emissions decreased by a total of 5.5 percent. The fact that emissions have not risen more sharply is due to the pandemic-related change in mobility behaviour (more home office and fewer business trips) as well as the growing share of electromobility in road traffic. The share of biogenic fuels in total fuel consumption has also increased slightly.
The state is evaluated as medium and the development as unsatisfactory.
CO2 emissions based on CO2 statistics make up only a portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that are reported in accordance with the CO2 Act and the Paris Agreement. For an international comparison, please refer to the “Greenhouse gas emissions per inhabitant” indicator.
The energy-related CO2 emissions based on CO2 statistics listed here include all CO2 emissions from motor fuels and from thermal fuels subject to the CO2 levy and are corrected for weather conditions.
Energy-related CO2 emissions based on CO2 statistics are calculated by adding up the individual emissions from fossil motor and thermal fuels. These are calculated as follows: emission = annual activity * emission factor. The annual activity rate captures the magnitude of an activity, which in this case is the annual consumption of a thermal fuel (e.g. heating oil, gas) or a motor fuel (e.g. diesel oil, gasoline, kerosene, aviation gasoline). In this calculation, an adjustment for degree days and solar radiation is made for the thermal fuel emissions in order to account for the influence of fluctuations in weather conditions. Source: Overall energy statistics (Swiss Federal Office of Energy).
The full time series is recalculated in the event of changes to the methodology, improvements to the available source data or retrospective corrections of error.