Long-Term Climate Strategy FAQs
3. By how many per cent must emissions be reduced for net zero to be realistic by 2050? How high are the unavoidable emissions?
The following emission reductions are technically possible:
- Transport and the building sector can become virtually emission-free by 2050. We already have the technologies to make this possible.
- The industrial sector can also largely operate without fossil fuels. To reduce the remaining emissions from industrial processes, technologies can be used that capture CO2 directly where it is produced and store or reuse it (CCS = carbon capture and storage; CCU = carbon capture and utilisation).
- In the waste sector, incineration will continue to generate CO2 emissions. Here, too, technical solutions are available.
- Substitutes already exist today for solvents or refrigerants that cause very strong synthetic greenhouse gases. Often, emissions occur only when there is a leak or accident, and so can be contained with better risk management.
- In agriculture, technology can reduce emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2050 compared to 1990. Further significant potential lies in the food sector; this was not considered in the Long-Term Climate Strategy, however.
- Conclusion: Greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland can be reduced by almost 90 per cent by 2050, in part thanks to the use of CCS technologies in industry. The remaining emissions of around seven million tonnes of CO2 equivalents can be offset by using negative emission technologies (NETs) to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it permanently.