SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 August 2021, Monday |

Swiss voters look set to reject law to help cut carbon emissions

According to early indications from national radio SRF on Sunday, Swiss voters are likely to reject a new law that would assist the country reach its goals under the Paris Climate Agreement.

In a nationwide referendum held under the country’s direct democracy system, 51 percent of people voted against the new CO2 law, according to projections. The official outcome will be available later in the day.

As Switzerland strives to decrease carbon emissions to half of 1990 levels by 2030, the new law would have included measures such as raising a premium on auto gasoline and placing a levy on airline tickets.

Opponents said the law would increase business costs and not help the environment as Switzerland is responsible for only 0.1% of global carbon emissions.

Two other environmental questions also looked likely to be defeated in referendums also being held on Sunday, according to early projections.

In the binding referendums, 61 percent of voters rejected a proposal to ban artificial pesticides and another to enhance drinking water by redirecting subsidies to farmers who no longer use the chemicals.

Pesticides were connected to health hazards, according to supporters, while opponents said that a ban would result in higher food prices, job losses in the Swiss food processing industry, and a greater reliance on imports.

Separate referendums on a temporary law providing financial assistance to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and a bill giving police more powers to combat terrorism were also expected to pass, according to predictions.