Signature of the agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the linking of their emissions trading schemes

Berne, 23.11.2017 – The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the linking of their emissions trading schemes has been signed in Berne on 23 November 2017 in the presence of Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. For the agreement to enter into force, its ratification must be approved by the Swiss and European parliaments.

v.r.n.l: BAFU-Direktor Marc Chardonnens, Bundespräsidentin Doris Leuthard, Botschafter der EU in der Schweiz Michael Matthiessen, Präsident der Europäischen Kommission Jean-Claude Juncker und Botschafter von Estland (EU-Vorsitz) Rein Oidekivi.

The Emissions Trading System (ETS) is an important climate policy instrument. It aims to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the sectors responsible for most emissions. The Swiss ETS currently includes 54 major CO2 emitters (see factsheet below). The linking of the Swiss and European systems will enable these companies to access a bigger and more liquid market and benefit from the same competition conditions as European companies. As is the case in the European system today, the emissions generated by aviation will also be included in the Swiss system from the entry into force of the agreement. In line with the proposed regulation in the EU, it is expected that only flights from Switzerland to other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and internal flights will be included.

The changes necessary to the current CO2 Act were submitted for consultation in the context of Switzerland’s future climate policy at the end of August 2016. There was broad support for the agreement on the linking of the Swiss and European systems, however the inclusion of aviation emissions in the Swiss system was criticised by some participants.

The signature of the agreement between the EU and Switzerland on 23 November 2017 represents an important step towards the linking of the two systems. The Swiss and European parliaments must now authorise the ratification of the agreement. To this end, a parliamentary dispatch on the approval of the agreement and the necessary partial revision of the CO2 Act will be submitted to the Swiss Parliament.

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Last modification 24.11.2017

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