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Climate change set to cost Switzerland 'CHF1 billion per year'

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Climate change set to cost Switzerland 'CHF1 billion per year'
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
11:50 CEST+02:00
The ‘astronomical’ financial impact of climate change on Swiss infrastructure has been revealed in a new study.

A report, released by German company DETEC, says that the extreme weather as a result of climate change will “threaten our railways, roads and electricity supply”. 

SWISS ELECTION: What do Swiss political parties say about climate change

Worryingly, the impacts are set to be felt in the ‘medium term’, making it more difficult for Swiss authorities to delay taking action. 

The authors said that the findings were subject to caution, saying there were “still several gaps in our knowledge of the costs of climate change”. 

Damage to roads and rail lines as well as debilitating harm to hydro-power schemes are among the predicted effects of climate change in Switzerland. 

The loss in revenue from hydro-electric energy alone is estimated to be “several hundred millions of francs”. 

Climate change has become an increasingly fraught topic in Switzerland ahead of the federal election on October 20th. 

Climate change in action

The authors noted that many of the impacts of climate change were already being seen in their early stages. 

High temperatures during the 2019 summer led to warped and deformed rails, causing traffic disruption on Swiss train networks. 

Impacts on the water table and on power generation have been more difficult to quantify, but are already being seen. 

WATCH: 3D models show how climate change could shrink Swiss Aletsch glacier

‘A warning signal for Switzerland’

DETEC said that the findings were significant and that they should constitute “a warning signal for the Confederation, the cantons and the communes”. 

DETEC urged authorities to prioritise minimising CO2 emissions to zero by 2050, saying that this was the most cost effective way of reducing infrastructure cost increases. 

 

 

 
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