Voluntary Agreements with Industry (CO2 Target Agreements)

Last updated: 5 November 2017
The aim of the CO2 Act, which represents the central element of Switzerlands climate policy, is to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% by 2010 versus the 1990 level. This goal is to be primarily achieved through voluntary measures on the part of companies and private individuals. Since in accordance with the CO2 statistics of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment the minimum reduction target of 6% for 2006 versus the level recorded in 1990 was not met, a fee of 12 Swiss francs per tonne of CO2 emissions is to be collected on fossil combustibles. The law provides that high-consumption companies, large-scale consumers and consumer groups can be exempted from the tax if they undertake a voluntary agreement with the federal government to restrict their CO2 emissions to a certain level and subsequently meet their declared target. SwissEnergy wants to conclude agreements with companies in the trade, industry and services sectors. Its goal is to incorporate 50% of CO2 emissions from these sectors into target agreements by 2010. SwissEnergys partner agency, the Energy Agency for Industry, is responsible for preparing and concluding target agreements. Different methods are used to establish targets, depending on the companys size and activity. The Energy Agency for Industry also offers a variety of instruments (e.g. energy management courses) for analysing efficiency potentials and implementing suitable measures. Following preparatory work in 2001, the first voluntary agreements were signed in 2002 with industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first agreement was signed with AutoSuisse (car importer) to reduce the consumption of cars from 8.4l/100km (in 2000) to 6.4 l/100km in 2008. In 2004, the first major target agreement encompassing 45 groups of companies was signed. By the end of 2006, more than 80 groups with over 1,000 companies had either been audited or were currently undergoing an audit. These companies and cemsuisse (Swiss Cement Industry Association) combined account for approximately 3.8 million tonnes of CO2, or roughly 40% of the total level of emissions attributable to trade and industry.

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more