Overall rating
Policies & action
< 3°C World
Domestic target
Almost Sufficient
< 2°C World
Fair share target
< 3°C World
Climate finance
Highly insufficient
Net zero target



Comprehensiveness not rated as

Assessment in progress
Land use & forestry
Not significant

Historical emissions

Historical emissions data is taken from the common report tables submitted as part of Switzerland’s GHG inventory. The last historic year is 2019. (Federal Office for the Environment, 2020).

NDC and other targets

We calculated targets for 2020, 2025, and 2030 from the most recent national inventory submissions (Federal Office for the Environment, 2020) 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 (e.g. forest fires) in calculating their reference level.

Switzerland’s NDC includes LULUCF, for which the details of the accounting rules have yet to be decided. The NDC states the desire to use a reference level for forest land, while emissions for other land uses will be included both in the target and baseline years. We assume that the accounted LULUCF emissions in 2030 are the same as the projected LULUCF emissions (i.e. the forest reference level would be set at zero). This results in about 1MtCO2e, which is added to the 2025 indicative target and 2030 target. Since this is likely an over-estimate of the accounted LULUCF emissions, we show the target as a range, with the lower end of the range representing emission levels excluding this accounting rule.

Current policy projections

We use the “with measures” scenario submitted to the UNFCCC in Switzerland’s fourth biennial report for our current policy projections (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, 2020c). The scenario reflects the current state of legislation, also taking into account the stipulated strengthening of existing policies and measures (i.e. any strengthening foreseen under current legislation).

The planned policy projections are based on the “with additional measures” scenario of the fourth biennial report. Many of these measures are included in the amended version of the CO2 Act that was rejected in a June 2021 referendum. It is not clear which of these measures will be reintroduced in subsequent legislation.

COVID-19 impact

We applied a novel method to estimate the COVID-19 related dip in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 and the deployment through to 2030. The uncertainty surrounding the severity and length of the pandemic creates a new level of uncertainty for current and future greenhouse gas emissions. We first update the current and planned policy projections using the most recent projections. We then distil the emission intensity (GHG emissions/GDP) from this pre-pandemic scenario and apply to it the most recent GDP projections that take into account the effect of the pandemic.

We used GDP growth from 2020, and GDP growth projections from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO, 2021, 2022 max), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2021, 2022 min) to create a minimum and maximum emissions pathway for 2020-2022 (OECD, 2021; SECO, 2021). Swiss GDP fell 2.9% in 2020, while SECO and OECD project a GDP increase of 3.8% and 3.24% in 2021 respectively. GDP growth estimates for the years 2023 to 2030 were derived from the GDP estimates provided in Switzerland’s 4th Biennial Report from the original pre-pandemic current policy scenario (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, 2020c).

Global warming potentials

The CAT uses Global Warming Potential (GWP) values from the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for all figures and time series. Assessments completed prior to December 2018 (COP24) used GWP values from the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR).

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