Switzerland to outsource part of its 2030 climate goal

Published 14:32 on February 27, 2015  /  Last updated at 15:28 on May 11, 2016  /  EMEA, Switzerland  /  No Comments

Switzerland will use international carbon credits to meet nearly half its 2030 emission reduction goal, the government said on Friday.

Switzerland will use international carbon credits to meet nearly half its 2030 emission reduction goal, the government said on Friday.

The country aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50% beneath 1990 levels by 2030, it said in a statement intended to form part of Switzerland’s INDC to a Paris global climate deal.

According to the statement, domestic emissions must be cut by at least 30%. The last 20% may be attained through projects carried out abroad.

The announcement extends Switzerland’s current 2020 goal to cut emissions 20% below 1990 levels, which it said it would deepen if big emitters sign a comprehensive pact.

The pledge represents a return by Switzerland to using international credits as a cheaper way of meeting its emission targets.

It is also in contrast to the neighbouring EU, which set a 2030 goal to cut emissions 40% without any further use of international offsets.

Switzerland relied heavily on buying UN-backed offsets to meet its 2008-2012 goal under the Kyoto Protocol but then shifted focus with a policy that forced companies to instead source more expensive domestic carbon credits costing over $100 each.

Switzerland faces some of the highest costs in the world to reduce its greenhouse gas output beyond current levels of around 50 million tonnes of CO2e a year, largely because its hydro and nuclear-based power sector is already 95% emission-free.

By Ben Garside – ben@carbon-pulse.com