On 25 March 2019, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) opened the consultation on the partial revision of the current CO2 Ordinance. The amendment is needed so that the Swiss and EU emissions trading schemes (ETS) can be linked. From 2020, emissions from civil aviation and fossil power plants will be included in the Swiss ETS, as is already the case in the EU. Linking the two schemes would enable companies in the Swiss ETS to trade in the larger EU emissions market.
The Swiss ETS is an important market-based instrument for climate protection. Its purpose is to reduce the greenhouse gases produced by Swiss companies with very high levels of emissions. Between 2013 and 2020, the permissible upper limit for emissions will be lowered by at least 13% (see Factsheet).
Switzerland wants to link its ETS to the EU scheme so that Swiss companies can participate in the larger and more liquid EU emissions market and benefit from the same competition conditions as EU companies. To this end, an agreement was signed with the EU on 23 November 2017. Swiss Parliament approved this agreement on 22 March 2019 and accepted the necessary changes to the current CO2 Act. For these decisions to be implemented, the CO2 Ordinance has to be amended. The linking agreement is scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2020.
Inclusion of civil aviation and fossil power plants
Following the partial revision of the CO2 Ordinance, CO2 emissions from civil aviation and any fossil power plants (see Factsheet) will be included in the Swiss ETS. Overall levels of these emissions will therefore be steadily reduced. This is already the case in the EU ETS. The scheme would cover domestic flights and flights from Switzerland to other countries in the European Economic Area (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). To ensure that the linking continues after 2020, the necessary provisions will need to be included in the fully revised CO2 Act, which is currently being debated in Parliament. The consultation process lasts until 2 July 2019.