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 – firstname.lastname@example.org