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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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Water management

Switzerland has embarked on a long-term endeavour to rehabilitate its rivers to their natural functioning and counteract continued aquatic biodiversity loss. It is one of the first countries implementing a national policy to reduce micro-pollutants in municipal sewage treatment plant effluents, and new measures are being considered to tackle diffuse pollution from agriculture. Enforcing protection of groundwater abstraction areas, the main source of drinking water, is an emerging issue. This chapter assesses Switzerland’s performance in these four areas. It also reviews the state of water quality and the main pressures on water resources.

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