The National Council is taking a step towards carbon neutrality by 2050

Switzerland is expected to set concrete climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The National adopted an indirect counter-project on the glacier initiative on 134 votes to 56, much to the chagrin of the glacier. UDC.

Initiative and counter-project have the same goal. Both want to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. However, there are different ways to achieve this. Initiators demand a ban on fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, gasoline or diesel.

Intermediate objectives

For the National, it’s too extreme. In March, he narrowly rejected the initiative in favor of the Federal Council’s direct counter-project, giving his committee sufficient time to develop its own counter-project. Indirectly, it has the advantage of setting concrete goals directly in the law and thus speeding up the legislative process.

By 2050, the construction and transportation sectors will no longer have to emit CO2, and the industry will have to reduce its emissions by 90%, according to the text. The remaining emissions will have to be offset. An intermediate target is also set: Switzerland will have to reduce its emissions by 75% compared to 1990 by 2040. Several incentive instruments are being considered.

Also read: The warning of climate activists

It is on this counter-project that members have been working on since Tuesday. Due to lack of time, they had to interrupt their debates just before the last votes on a series of proposals from the left and the UDC. The pink-green camp is advocating for more ambitious goals, while the Conservative Party wants to minimize them.

In particular, the UDC wanted to exclude any objective for the financing of the law. Conversely, the left has called for complementary or more stringent climate protection measures in the finance, construction and transportation sectors. Air traffic emissions must also be taken into account in the intermediate targets, she said. No proposals were successful.

Help programs criticized

The Conservative Party also opposes the aid program for industry and the replacement program for heating. The first, which costs 200 million francs a year for six years, aims to encourage companies to use new technologies and processes to reduce greenhouse gases.

The other spans a decade, at a rate of $ 200 million a year. He intends to push each and every one to dump his old polluting plants. Businesses and citizens are already working in this direction, the Conservative Party said. For example, they are changing their fossil installations for heat pumps. But stocks are not enough and there is a shortage of manpower.

Also read: One billion a year to renovate buildings? Chiche!

The cantons also already have very effective support instruments. You have to let go of his hand, he says. The proposed programs are disproportionate.

Attractive financial incentive

“Electric heaters need to be replaced as soon as possible.” A support program makes sense. It needs to be put in place as soon as possible, ”Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga told them on Wednesday.

“Replacing a heater is not easy,” added Roger Nordmann (PS / VD). “Once in a while, fossil heating is replaced by fossil heating.” And it won’t be changed until twenty or twenty-five. Supporting homeowners in rehabilitating their facilities will accelerate the share of renewable facilities.

Also read: In search of sobriety in fossil-addicted housing

“People don’t want extra taxes,” Susanne Vincenz-Stauffacher (PLR / SG) also told the commission. The rejection of the CO2 law has demonstrated this. Aid programs create an attractive financial incentive.

The program for the industry easily passed the ramp. The heater replacement help was a little harder to seduce. The instrument was accepted by 119 votes to 74. Part of the bourgeois camp rallied to the UDC.

Withdrawal of initiative at stake

In the end, the National followed its commission along the line. It could be different in the Council of States, which must now seize the case.

Reread: The climate attracts a third of elected officials in the National Council chamber

Initiators, however, are rather pleased with the indirect counter-project in its current grind. They could even withdraw their initiative if it is adopted as is. The Federal Council would also support this. Senators may well take these elements into account in their deliberations.

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