NOTE: Switzerland submitted a further NDC update on December 17, 2021. Our analysis of that NDC submission will be available here.
This assessment includes our analysis for Switzerland from 30 November 2020 translated into our new rating methodology. We have updated our analysis of the Swiss NDC based on the developments around the amended CO2 Act referendum and updated Switzerland’s historic emissions to 2019 based on the latest inventory data. We have not undertaken new analysis of Switzerland’s climate policies, though this scenario now reflects the latest historical emissions and more recent GDP estimates for the extent of the COVID impact. We will fully analyse Switzerland’s profile in the coming months, at which time the rating may change.
The CAT rates Switzerland’s climate targets, policies and finance as “Insufficient”. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Switzerland’s climate policies and commitments need substantial improvements to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Switzerland’s 2030 domestic emissions reduction target is consistent with keeping warming below—but not well below—2°C. If fully implemented, Switzerland’s current policies would fall short of achieving this target. This emissions trajectory is consistent with between 2-3°C of warming if all countries took a similar approach. Switzerland is also not meeting its fair-share contributions to climate change mitigation, and in addition to strengthening its targets and policies, also needs to provide additional support to others.
Switzerland’s efforts to tackle climate change were struck a blow in 2021 after the failure of its amended CO2 Act to pass in a June referendum. Under its planned policies scenario, in which many of the policies from the amended CO2 Act were contained, Switzerland would have met its now rejected domestic emissions target. Under current policies, however, Switzerland is projected to miss even its less ambitious previous domestic target of a 30% reduction below 1990 levels. The CAT rates Switzerland’s current policies as “Insufficient”.
In its updated NDC, Switzerland aimed to increase the domestic emissions reduction component of its 2030 target to 75%, an increase of 15 percentage points from its previous 60% share. However, this increase in its domestic emissions reduction was part of the proposed amended CO2 Act, which was rejected in a referendum in June 2021. It is now unclear whether this part of the CO2 Act will be kept or discarded in any subsequent iteration. For the purpose of this assessment, we assume the domestic component of Switzerland’s target reverts back to the 30% that was put forward by the Federal Council. We rate this target as “Almost sufficient” when compared to global least cost modelled pathways, though, with the rejection of the proposed increase in domestic ambition, this target sits at the very top end of the “Almost sufficient” range .
The CAT’s assessment of the Switzerland’s total fair share contribution takes into account its emissions reduction target and its climate finance.
Switzerland’s NDC is split into domestic and overseas emissions reductions components, which together form its overall target of at least a 50% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030. We rate the overall target, which includes its recent deals with Peru and Ghana to achieve emissions reductions in these countries, as “Insufficient” when compared to its fair share emissions allocation. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Switzerland’s fair share target in 2030 needs substantial improvement to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Some of these improvements should be made to the domestic target itself, others could come in the form of additional support for emissions reductions achieved in developing countries in the form of finance. If all countries followed Switzerland’s approach, warming would reach up to 3°C.
We rate Switzerland’s international public climate finance contributions as ‘Highly Insufficient’. Switzerland has committed to increase its climate finance but contributions to date have been very low compared to its fair share. To improve its rating Switzerland needs ramp up its international climate finance contributions in the period post-2020.
Switzerland’s climate finance is not sufficient to improve the fair share target rating, and the CAT rates the Switzerland’s overall fair share contribution as insufficient.
Switzerland committed to a net zero target as part of its long-term strategy submitted to the UNFCCC. Our assessment of this net zero target will follow later in the year.