Switzerland is already famously neutral on many things. Soon it will be time to add their carbon footprint to that list.
In some good news for the planet, Euronews Green reported that the Swiss people passed a new bill — the Climate Protection Targets, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security Act — that will bring their output of planet-warming gases to net zero by 2050.
The new law was actually accepted by the Swiss parliament last year, but the Swiss People’s Party opposed it, putting it to a referendum that was finally approved this June.
This legislation came from the desire to save the country’s glaciers, which are rapidly melting.
According to CREA Mont-Blanc, the effects of Earth’s rising temperatures are amplified in mountain environments like the Alps because hotter temperatures lead to a decrease in areas covered with ice and snow, which reflect the sun’s rays. When the ice and snow melt, they are replaced by areas of dark rock and vegetation, which absorb the sun’s heat and increase ground temperature and melting.
IEA reported that Switzerland is warming at a rate two to three times faster than the global average, making achieving net zero incredibly important.
Net zero means that the amount of heat-trapping gases going into the atmosphere is balanced by the removal of them from it, and we need to reach it to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement and stop the overheating of our planet.
While the Paris Agreement lays out a global objective, to achieve it, each country must set its own policies, like the one just passed in Switzerland.
Euronews Green reported that Switzerland imports around 75% of its energy from abroad, but its government said that “these fossil fuels will not be available indefinitely and they place a heavy burden on the climate.”
“The Swiss understood that the climate law is essential to take a first step and inscribe in Swiss law a clear objective for 2050,” Swiss Green Party MP Céline Vara said. “When you have a clear objective, you can then put in place the necessary measures.”
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