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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Switzerland 2017

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Switzerland 2017

Switzerland has taken steps to improve the environmental performance of its agricultural, energy and transport sectors. The country is a top OECD performer in terms of greenhouse gas emissions intensity and it should be commended for its innovative approach towards rehabilitation of its river system. Yet unsustainable consumption patterns and high levels of municipal waste generation, as well as high percentages of threatened species, are areas of concern. As a major financial centre, Switzerland has a key role to play in promoting green finance.

This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Switzerland. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with special features on: water management and biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

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Preface

This third Environmental Performance Review of Switzerland examines the progress made in achieving the country’s environmental objectives since the OECD’s previous review, published in 2007. Much has changed since then. Just last May, on 21 May 2017 precisely, the Swiss population voted “yes” on a government proposal to revise the Energy Act to allow a gradual phase-out of nuclear energy while increasing reliance on local renewable energy sources. This is expected to lead to investment and jobs in Switzerland, benefiting not only the environment, but also the population and the economy. The Swiss carbon tax has been increased last year to EUR 77 per tonne and compares very favourably with that in the few OECD countries which introduced such a tax. The Swiss Emissions Trading Scheme will soon be linked to that of the European Union after a long negotiation period.

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