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Switzerland poised to back net-zero climate law

A Swiss election poster that says ‘Let’s protect what’s important’. Yes June 18 climate law

Swiss citizens are feeling the effects of global warming on rapidly melting glaciers, with early estimates suggesting on Sunday that a new climate-related plan aimed at leading the country towards carbon neutrality by 2050 will be announced. supported the bill.

Initial projections by the gfs.bern Institute showed that 58% of Swiss voters said they “yes” to the referendum on the new law. The new law obliges Switzerland to reduce its dependence on oil and gas imports and to expand its exploitation and use of oil and gas. A greener, more homemade alternative.

Voters appear overwhelmingly in favor of introducing the world’s lowest tax rate of 15% for multinationals, with 79% in favor, according to a forecast released shortly after the polls closed at noon (10 p.m. Japan time). voted.

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Recent polls show strong but sluggish support for climate change legislation amid a campaign to fuel fears about power shortages and economic collapse led by the populist right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP). It had been.

Proponents argued that ensuring energy security required a “federal law on climate protection goals, innovation and enhancing energy security.”

They say it will also help address the scourge of climate change, highlighted by the dramatic melting of glaciers in the Swiss Alps, which lost a third of their ice volume between 2001 and 2022. ing.

– Climate Friendly Alternatives –

Switzerland imports about three-quarters of its energy, and all the oil and natural gas it consumes comes from abroad.

Climate activists initially called for a total ban on oil and gas consumption in Switzerland by 2050.

However, the government disapproved of the so-called glacier concept, withdrew the idea of ​​banning it and prepared a counter-proposal incorporating other elements.

The document calls for CHF 2 billion ($2.2 billion) over 10 years to accelerate the replacement of gas or oil heating systems with climate-friendly alternatives and to help propel companies towards green innovation. has pledged financial support to

Almost all of Switzerland’s major political parties support the bill, but the country’s largest party, the SVP, has provoked a referendum to reject it as a “waste of electricity law”.

The SVP argues that the bill’s goal of achieving climate neutrality in just over a quarter century would effectively mean a ban on fossil fuels, which would threaten energy access and drive up household electricity bills.

In 2021, the SVP successfully lobbied against legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but there were fears that it would force similar disruptions.

But since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought into question access to much of the foreign energy used by Switzerland, concerns about Switzerland’s dependence on foreign energy sources have likely heightened the ‘yes’ side. .

~Corporate tax increase~

Meanwhile, there was little doubt that voters would support a separate referendum on raising taxes on large businesses, with polls consistently showing strong support.

The vote will pass a constitutional amendment that will allow Switzerland to join an international treaty led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that introduces the world’s lowest tax rate of 15% for multinational companies.

The plan is to apply the new tax rate to all Swiss-based companies with a turnover of more than €750 million.

Until now, many of Switzerland’s 26 cantons have imposed the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, saying it was necessary to attract companies in the face of high wages and location costs.

The Swiss government estimates that the additional tax will generate between 1 billion and 2.5 billion Swiss francs in the first year alone.


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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/swiss-vote-on-netzero-climate-law/news-story/8967f7c846629eaee71cf3ba97ca9241 Switzerland poised to back net-zero climate law

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