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Very slight decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in 2019

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In 2019, Switzerland emitted 46.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. This is about 0.3 million tonnes less than the previous year, said Monday the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), which pleads for a strengthening of the measures.

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Emissions are 14% lower than in the base year 1990. According to current estimates, Switzerland should miss its 2020 climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990. For significantly reduce emissions, it is essential to strengthen measures, as provided for by the law on CO2, according to the FOEN.

Stability in construction and industry

In the building sector, emissions remained the same as in the previous year. They represent a total decrease of 34% compared to 1990. This stability, despite a colder winter, is mainly due to the improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings and the increasing replacement of oil and gas heating systems by heat pumps and renewable energies.

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The strong influence of winter temperatures on emissions shows that the building sector mainly continues to heat itself with fossil fuels, emphasizes the FOEN. If the climate factor is taken into account, emissions from this sector fall by 0.3 million tonnes per year, which is not enough to meet its 40% reduction target until 2020.

Industry emissions also remained unchanged in 2019. Compared to 1990, the decline was 14%. These emissions have stagnated for several years and if this trend continues, the 20% reduction target until 2020 will be missed.

Increase in kilometers traveled

In the transport sector, emissions amounted to around 15 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2019, as in the previous year, ie 1% more than the level reached in 1990. The addition of biofuels to fossil fuels has grown in recent years, reaching almost 4% of total fuel sales in 2019.

More energy efficient vehicles also emit less CO2 per kilometer driven. But these positive effects are canceled out by the increase in the number of kilometers traveled. If the trend continues, the transport sector will miss the target of minus 10% until 2020.

Decline in agriculture

Emissions caused by agriculture have decreased slightly compared to 2018, reaching some 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or about 12% less than in 1990. Greenhouse gas emissions Synthetic greenhouse, such as refrigerants, decreased slightly from 2018, reaching around 1.6 million tonnes in 2019.

As of January 1, 2019, the Montreal Protocol governs 18 important synthetic greenhouse gases. Its implementation, also in Switzerland, should lead to a marked decrease in emissions of this type of gas. Nevertheless, the Confederation will probably not achieve the reduction planned for other emissions, of around 10% compared to 1990, until 2020, warns the FOEN.

The Swiss greenhouse gas inventory for the years 1990 to 2019 was submitted to the UN Climate Change Secretariat on April 12, 2021. It provides a complete picture of the greenhouse gas emissions of the country. Switzerland, which are governed by the Kyoto Protocol.

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