The building sector is the source of approximately a quarter of Switzerland’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is where cantonal building regulations and the federal and cantonal Buildings Programme comes in.

The building sector plays an important role in Switzerland's climate policy. The interim target of minus 22 % by 2015 compared to 1990 (according to the CO2 Ordinance) was met. The expected contribution of -40 % by 2020 compared to 1990 (according to the explanatory report on the CO2 Ordinance) was missed despite mild weather conditions. The majority of buildings in Switzerland is still heated with fossil oil or gas. To achieve the climate targets of the Paris Agreement, Switzerland's building stock must become CO2-free.

Consistent with the great potential for reducing emissions from buildings, there are several climate policy instruments:

CO2 levy: This has been imposed since 2008. It sets incentives to consume less fossil fuels.

The Buildings Programme: Since 2010, one third of the revenue from the CO2 levy has been used for the federal and cantonal buildings programme. It promotes the energy-efficient renovation of building shells as well as renewable energies, waste heat recovery, building technologies and geothermal energy projects.

Cantonal building regulations: The cantons also make a significant contribution. Under the CO2 Act they are required to define standards for the continuous reduction of CO2 emissions in new and older buildings (Art. 9 CO2 Act).

Last modification 17.12.2020

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