Dossiers - Climate and energy policy
Overview and position on climate and energy policies
Climate and energy policies have a significant impact on production in Switzerland. It is therefore important that the ambitious climate targets are achieved without disadvantaging Switzerland as a business location. This can only be attained with an internationally oriented climate policy and a secure and sustainable supply of energy at competitive prices.
Switzerland performs above the average in terms of climate. According to the assessment of international energy policy of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Switzerland has the lowest emission intensity and the second-lowest energy intensity of the 30 member states of the IEA (International Energy Agency). Thanks to the target agreement system, the companies in the Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences industries have saved some 80,000 tonnes of CO2 and energy costs in the amount of around CHF 40 million.
Commitment to proactive and effective climate action
The members of scienceindustries explicitly acknowledge the reality of climate change. We support the net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 proclaimed by the federal government as a fundamental target and are in favour of proactive and effective climate action. Our members are already making a significant contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by optimising processes for their own plants and supply chains. At the same time, many of our members offer concrete solutions in the fight against climate change, as our position paper “Proactive and Effective Climate Protection” shows.
It is the declared aim of our industry to continuously improve and achieve excellence in the protection of the environment and health as well as safety. As part of the “Responsible Care” programme, members of scienceindustries can voluntarily undertake to ensure the safe handling of their products along the entire value chain – from production to transport and the processing of the end product. With “Responsible Care,” we show how our industries, with their innovative products, processes and equipment, contribute to solving societal challenges and support the ecological, social and economic dimensions of sustainability.
Innovative, internationally coordinated climate policy
The Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences industries are also reducing their ecological footprint as a supplier to many sectors, e.g. the manufacturers of photovoltaic systems or energy storage systems. However, like the economy as a whole, they face fierce international competition and need the same conditions as their competitors. Linking the Swiss emissions trading system to that of the EU is a step in this direction. The required next step is to align Swiss climate policy to the international environment, e.g. by adapting the carbon tax to the rest of the world.
With the extension of the law until 2024 that was approved by Parliament and the revision for the period after 2025, the undisputed instruments of the law are being continued and partially adapted or supplemented, which we welcome. What we generally criticise, however, is the lack of framework conditions that favour long-term substitution measures and are therefore fundamental to achieving the net zero target by 2050.
Secure, sustainable and affordable electricity supply
To ensure that Switzerland’s electricity supply remains secure in the future, politicians need to think more comprehensively about the energy future and enable a technologically broad-based, affordable and innovative supply. With the five cornerstones, the three trade associations (economiesuisse, swissmem, scienceindustries) are providing concrete proposals for the current revision of the umbrella legislation.
Firstly, it is a question of defining a critical threshold for electricity imports in winter – if this threshold is exceeded permanently, the capacity for electricity production must be expanded as a matter of priority, at an early stage and without red tape. Secondly, security of supply should be prioritised over climate protection, followed by nature conservation and heritage conservation interests. Technology neutrality in electricity production is the third cornerstone. Fourthly, provision should be made for the cost-neutral financing of capacity expansion for end customers, and fifthly, good framework conditions with incentives for greater electricity efficiency in the economy should be introduced.