21 January 2021

CO2 law - a step towards climate justice


On 13 June 2021, the CO2 law will be put to the vote, which terre des hommes switzerland supports in the Climate Alliance Switzerland. With the federal law on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, Switzerland can take a pioneering role for international climate justice. Because the consequences of climate change are also clearly felt by the young people in our projects in the global south. 

Many of our project partners live and work in areas that are highly sensitive to global warming and environmental change. Many of the young people we work for and with have long been affected. In northeastern Brazil, where we support youth to build livelihoods in agriculture, 2015 saw the worst drought in 80 years. In the Sahrawi refugee camps in the Algerian desert, where people have been waiting for 45 years for a solution to the conflict over the occupied Western Sahara, the temperature rises to 50 degrees in summer.

Consequences of climate change in Mozambique

In Mozambique in 2019, several cyclones destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of people in the area where our partner organisations work. In January 2021, a tropical cyclone in the province of Sofala near the port metropolis of Beira and the hinterland destroyed homes, schools and hospitals and destroyed crops. As a result, thousands of families are homeless and in need of emergency aid.

Sensible measures

Climate change is a global challenge and requires global solutions. Switzerland must also make its contribution with efficient measures. The comprehensive CO2 law, which will be put to the vote on 13 June 2021, is a step in the right direction. For example, it is intended to promote climate-friendly building heating and renovation and to introduce air ticket levies, half of which will flow into a climate fund and half of which will be redistributed. This climate fund will also be used to promote the development and application of climate-friendly technologies.

Climate justice nationally and internationally

The Federal Council, Parliament and various organisations from the business sector as well as environmental protection and development cooperation are behind the law. It sets the course for much more effective climate protection measures from 2022 onwards. Rapid implementation of good climate policy is imperative in order to safeguard the basis of life for future generations. The law takes the polluter-pays principle seriously and ensures a social balance by redistributing a large part of the revenue from the levies to the population. It contributes to climate justice - both nationally and internationally. Switzerland has an exemplary role internationally. We are one of the few countries in which the population can decide on the scope of climate protection in accordance with the Paris Agreement by means of a referendum.

As a member of the Climate Alliance, an association of over 90 organisations, we support the new CO2 law.

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Climate Justice


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