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Petrol, flight prices set to increase under Swiss environmental proposal

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Petrol, flight prices set to increase under Swiss environmental proposal
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
10:51 CEST+02:00
A proposal currently being debated in the Council of States would see potentially significant increases to flight, petrol prices and heating costs across Switzerland in a bid to combat CO2 emissions.

In a debate that ran late into Monday night and continued into Tuesday, the Swiss upper house proposed a tax of between 30 and 120 francs per flight, while diesel and petrol could increase by up to ten cents a litre.

The CO2 rules on new cars, vans and trucks are also likely to be tightened, while a ban on oil heating has been forecast in buildings.

The goal is to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, which advocates argue will bring Switzerland in line with its requirements under the Paris Climate Accords. 

While the proposal has majority support in the upper house, there have been notable critics - with the majority of Swiss cantons not supporting the new measures. Under the bill however, cantons who put in environmentally sound measures that have at least an equal impact on emissions reduction would be exempt from implementation. 

The proposal comes after the lower house of Swiss parliament voted to support an increase in flight taxes earlier. As reported by The Local earlier in September, those in support of the taxes criticised the “extremely cheap tickets sometimes on offer”, saying that people were “flying like there’s no tomorrow”. 

Although a similar proposal was defeated in the national council in 2018, the current set of changes appears more likely to succeed due to a “change in the political wind”. Roberto Zanetti (SP/SO), said that the representatives were heavily influenced by the climate strike protests. 

While initially considering the climate strikes to have little impact, Zanetti told Swiss parliament “I was wrong. They have influenced our thinking - and our consciousness”. 

Part of the money raised from the new taxes is set to go towards a new “climate fund”, which will be used to promote renewable fuels and electronic mobility. 

One third of the tax on oil products will go towards the climate fund, as will half of the money raised under the air ticket tax. The Federal Commission indicates that the remainder will be redistributed to citizens and the Swiss economy. 

 

 
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