2050 indicative target

The Federal Council decided in August 2019 that Switzerland should aim for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The net zero target is also the subject of the Glacier Initiative submitted in November 2019. The Federal Council has made a direct counter-proposal in response to the initiative and submitted the corresponding message to parliament on the 11th August 2021.

From 2050 Switzerland aims to emit no more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than can be captured and stored in natural and technological sinks ('net zero emissions'). The Federal Council outlined this target in response to the IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5 °C.

To reach net zero emissions by 2050, a substantial reduction in emissions from the building sector, transport and industry is necessary. There are emission that are unavoidable or very difficult to avoid mainly from the agricultural sector and certain industrial processes such as cement production. These residual emissions will need to be offset by natural and technological storage means (i.e. sinks that absorb and store carbon). The long-term climate strategy shows how the target of net zero emissions can be reached by 2050.

An overview of other countries’ net zero emissions targets can be found on the websites of Climate Home News and the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (see below).

Further information

Last modification 24.12.2020

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