Volt supports the Climate Protection Law

At the latest since the climate strikes and the ensuing public debate, the Swiss are increasingly concerned with climate change and the topic of climate protection. However, the topic got off to a difficult start, with the vote on the CO2 law in 2021 being lost. As a result, concrete measures against climate change failed to materialise. But this is about to change, the Swiss electorate will vote on the Climate Protection Law on 18 June.

May 15, 2023
Schneebedecktes Gebirge mit Gletscher

The earth is racing towards 1.5 ̊C global warming and without further measures there is a real chance that we will reach a global warming of 3.2˚C within the next 75 years. This would have fatal irreversible effects on humans and nature; floods, rockfalls, debris flows, landslides, water shortages and waves of refugees are examples that await us not only in faraway countries but here in Switzerland.

The whole thing is nothing new; amazingly, it has been known for almost 90 years that the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming. The oil giant ExxonMobil has known about the effects of its own trade since the 1970s and deliberately concealed this from the public. As early as 1979, the first world climate conference was held in Geneva. One of the findings was that the continued focus on fossil fuels, combined with the ongoing destruction of the Earth's forests, will lead to a massive increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. "Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide", published by James Hansen, concluded that the burning of fossil fuels leads to a warming of the Earth's atmosphere. This study also led to global warming receiving a little more political and media attention, and research has been intensified since then. Today, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the largest scientific body in the world and regularly delivers reports on the current state of climate science. This also resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, in which 196 countries promised to jointly limit warming to 1.5 ̊C by 2100.

Despite this long history, numerous new IPCC reports and participation in various climate summits, 40 years after Hansen's study Switzerland still does not have a climate protection law that ensures compliance with the 1.5 ̊C target or the Paris Climate Agreement.

What does this mean for Switzerland?

The facts are clear: In Switzerland, it has become 2 ̊C warmer to date compared to 1864, we have lost 60% of the glacier volume compared to 1850, only half as many snow days as well as more frequent and more intense heat waves compared to 1901.

These effects are not without consequences. The more frequent and more intense heat waves are already causing an increase in deaths and emergency hospital admissions, especially among the elderly. Water scarcity situations are likely to become more frequent as climate change progresses and drought increases. The global effects would also affect Switzerland; among other things, there will be more climate refugees and, due to global warming and ocean acidification, food production will decrease in some regions, leading to food shortages.

The Climate and Innovation Act

It is time to act. For Switzerland, too. The Climate Protection Act points the way to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this goal, the focus is not on bans and levies, but on support for private individuals and companies. In addition, the law ensures that protective measures are taken for the consequences of climate change.

Where do we stand on this?

Switzerland has to comply with the obligations of the Paris Climate Agreement, because every signatory state has to do its part. As a wealthy industrialised country and an outstanding centre of science, Switzerland has the means and the knowledge to develop technologies that can help worldwide. It is time for an energy turnaround so that we can reduce our dependence on foreign countries, protect the wallets of our citizens and save our youngest from a catastrophe for which they are not responsible.

The time for excuses is over, Volt stands for climate neutrality by 2040 in over 30 countries across Europe.

Where do we go from here?

As with the CO2 Act 2021, the polls are currently looking good. Both the Federal and National Councils, as well as most parties, were in favour of the law, and yet it was rejected.

This must not happen again! Even if the current situation looks good, it can only be turned into a victory through a high voter turnout. Motivate your friends, family and acquaintances to vote on 18.6. This is the only way to get the Climate and Innovation Bill passed. On the Sunday of the vote, let's take a first step together towards a climate-neutral, liveable future.