Switzerland has made an unconditional commitment to decrease emissions by 20%-30% below 1990 emissions by 2020. With currently implemented policies and measures Switzerland will not be able to meet this pledge Current policy projections foresee a decrease in emissions below 1990 levels of about 10.5% by 2020, leaving a gap of 6 MtCO2e to reach the -20% pledge.
Switzerland agreed to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol for a second commitment period (2013-2020),
as proposed at the COP 18 in Doha. Switzerland submitted a QELRO1 level of 84.2, meaning that Switzerland’s yearly emissions during the period of 2013-2020 are proposed to be 84.2% of 1990 levels.
Switzerland's commitment under the Convention (Copenhagen Pledge) for 2020 is to reduce emissions in the range of 20% to 30% below 1990 emissions. While the -20% commitment is unconditional, the -30% is conditional on a global and comprehensive climate agreement.
According to Switzerland’s submission, such an agreement would includeother developed countries pledging comparable emissions reductions, and developing countries contributing according to their capabilities. The Swiss government’s processes to define a 2050 target or goal are ongoing and not yet concluded. However, there are strong signs that Switzerland will converge on a range of -80 to -95% from 1990 levels, similar to that adopted by the European Union.
The 2020 target will be achieved in the absence of new nuclear power plants, which will be gradually phased out in the future. These plants are expected to cease operation during the period 2019-2034 (OECD/IEA 2012). Consumption of electricity is projected to reach 60-90 TWh in 2050, depending economic growth and the success of energy efficiency measures. The contribution to GHG emissions from the electricity sector is small, due to a high reliance on hydropower facilities. The transport sector is currently the largest emitter (32%), and consequently mitigation actions should focus on sustainable modes of transport (i.e. railways).
With currently implemented policies, Switzerland is expected to reach an emissions level of 47.3 MtCO2e in 2020 (excluding LULUCF). This constitutes a decrease in domestic GHG emissions by only 10.5% below 1990 levels. As a result, additional emissions reductions are expected through the use of flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol (CERs and ERUs).
During the last two decades, historic emissions have remained fairly stable, ranging from 52-55 MtCO2e.
The current policy projection used in our analysis is taken from the scenario “with existing measures” in the NC6.
The overall effect of policies and measures implemented since 1990 is estimated at around 5 MtCO2e by Data sources and assumptions
Targets for 2020 were calculated from the most recent national inventory submissions (2013) and based on the latest UNFCCC information on Convention pledges and Kyoto targets.
We calculated Switzerland's LULUCF accounting quantities in 2020 for afforestation, reforestation and deforestation using the current Kyoto rules and for forest management using a net-net approach with a projected reference level for 2013-2020. Switzerland has excluded emissions from extreme events in calculating their reference level.
Current policy projections
Greenhouse gas emission inventories are available from 1990 to 2012 in the CRF 2014 submitted to UNFCCC. We use these historic values up to 2012 and then use growth rates based on Switzerland’s Sixth National Communication under the UNFCCC, published in 2013.
CRF (2014). UNFCCC AWG-KP Submissions 2014. Common Reporting Format.
European Environmental Agency (2011). Survey of resource effiency policies in EEA member and cooperating countries. Country profile: Switzerland
Swiss Confederation (2013). Switzerland’s Sixth National Communication and First Biennial Report under the UNFCCC, edited by Federal Office for the Environment, Bern.
Government of Switzerland (2012a). Information by Parties included in Annex I listed in annex 1 to decision 1/CMP.7 on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol
Government of Switzerland (2012b). Submission to the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP): Information by Parties included in Annex I listed in annex 1 to decision 1/CMP.7 on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, 4 May 2012
Government of Switzerland (2011). Switzerland's submission on reference levels as an accounting approach for forest management under the Kyoto Protocol
Government of Switzerland (2010a). Switzerland's pledge to the Copenhagen Accord. Compiled in: Compilation of economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, UNFCCC (2011).
Government of Switzerland (2010b). Forest Management reference level provided in presentation to Forest management accounting pre-sessional workshop on 30 July 2010
Swiss Confederation (2009a). Federal Act on the Reduction of CO2 Emissions (CO2 Act)
Swiss Confederation (2011). Federal Act on the Reduction of CO2 Emissions (CO2 Act), 23.12.2011
Government of Switzerland (2009b). Submission on Possible Options for Consideration Relating to Land-Use, Land-use Change and Forestry. 16 February 2009, FCCC/KP/AWG/2009/MISC.5
Switzerland (2009c). Joint submission by Australia, Belarus, Canada, Croatia, the European Community and its Member States, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Ukraine. Information relating to possible quantified emissions limitation and reduction objectives as submitted by Parties, Submission to the AWG-LCA ,,28 September to 9 October 2009
Ministerium für Umwelt, Transport, Energie und Kommunikation (2012). Energiestrategie 2050: Erstes Massnahmenpaket.
OECD / IEA (2012). Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Switzerland, 2012 Review. OECD/IEA, 2012 International Energy Agency 9 rue de la Fédération 75739 Paris Cedex 15, France.
1 The QELRO, expressed as a percentage in relation to a base year, denotes the average level of emissions that an Annex B Party could emit on an annual basis during a given commitment period.