Switzerland’s measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions

The CO2 Act includes a wide range of specific measures to achieve the reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

Switzerland implements its international obligation in the CO2 Act, which establishes the targets and measures in law. 

CO2 levy

Since 2008, an incentive levy has been levied on fossil thermal fuels such as heating oil or natural gas.

Emissions trading system

The emissions trading system makes it possible to reduce the total amount of emissions covered. The emissions are thereby reduced where it costs the least to do so. In this way, climate protection goals can be achieved cost-effectively.


The federal and cantonal Buildings Programme reinforces the effect of the CO2 levy. The cantons also achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions with their building regulations.

CO2 regulations for vehicles

Since 2015, an average target value of 130 g CO2 per km has applied to new cars, with a target value of 95 g CO2 per km since 2020. Regulations were also introduced for delivery vans and light commercial vehicles in 2020.

CO2 compensation

Compensation projects in Switzerland and abroad are reducing emissions. Fuel importers are obliged to offset part of their CO2 emissions from transport through compensation projects.

Climate Programme – training and communications

Advances climate protection as part of vocational training for skilled workers, and with practical support for communes.

Technology fund

The Confederation’s Technology Fund promotes innovations that reduce greenhouse gases or resource consumption, favour the use of renewable energies, and increase energy efficiency. Guarantees make it easier for innovative firms to take out loans.

Sector agreements

To curb the emissions from industry and waste management, the Confederation has agreed reduction targets and measures with two industry associations.

Other policy areas

Greenhouse gas emissions can also be reduced by measures that do not fall under the CO2 Act.

Last modification 29.12.2020

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